Sunday, May 17, 2009

What is in a mole?

March is our guest blogger this week, filling in for Alex. Here's her intro: "My name is March and I am a SAHM/Professional Volunteer. I have 3 boys, ages 8,4 & 2." Thank you March!!

James my 8 year old son has been growing his hair out almost all year. I really try to pick my battles and so let it get shaggy. I guess the heat finally got to him last week and so my DH took all 3 boys to get haircuts . When James came home with a partial crew cut, something stood out from behind his ear. A large mole that was not there when he started growing his hair last year.

Of my 3 boys 2 were cursed with my fair skin, but James has beautiful Olive skin like his dad. When he was a baby I was diligent about slathering him in sun screen, but as he got older and never burns it became more of his responsibility or when I remembered. James has had one sunburn in his life. So to see this rather large mole that had developed so quickly had me in a panic.

I called our Dr. The Dr already jokingly thinks I am crazy. Most people by the time they have a 3rd child have calmed down and don't call the Dr. at the drop of a hat..not me. My philosophy is that I would always rather the Dr. think I was crazy then not go and it be serious. When the Dr looked at the mole he told be I made the right decision by coming in. The mole was larger than the eraser on a pencil. He said that if a mole is larger then the eraser on a pencil it should be looked at . He used the ear scope to show me the shape and color.

As of right now the mole is fine but the Dr. has told me to watch it and asked if I knew the ABC's of moles. I didn't and I found them very helpful so I thought I would share them with everyone :

A-Asymmetry- Generally if the mole is symmetric there is not as much need for concern, but if it is asymmetric it should be checked out by a Dr.
B- Border- if it has an unusual border-scalloped or notched it is suspicious and should be checked out by a Dr.
C- different Colors with in the mole are suspicious and should be viewed by a Dr.
D- diameter- any mole larger than a pencils eraser or greater than 6 mm should be viewed by a Dr.
E-elevation-if the mole is elevated or raised from the skin it should be viewed by a Dr.

Also if you notice any sudden changes to any of these you should consult your Dr.
James' mole fits two of these criteria. The mole is larger then a pencil eraser and has multiple colors within it. It also developed quickly so the Dr. was very glad I had it checked out. He told me to keep and eye on it ( a 2nd use for my ear scope) to watch for any changes and feels that we will remove the mole probably when James is 13 or 14.
From now on 8 or not I am slathering him from head to toe is sun screen!

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