Alarmed about a piece of me that just fell off.
July 27, 2012 9:10 PM Subscribe
A few days ago I was in the shower, and I noticed a tiny lump in the front of my armpit. Initially I thought it was a zit, so I poked it with a needle. It hurt and thus it was apparently not a zit. As I examined it closer, I saw that it was more... fleshy.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (18 answers total)
Cancer runs in my family, so I was concerned that maybe this was the beginning of a tumor. Then I remembered that a girl I had been seeing recently had a mole near her hairline that seemed kind of fleshy. And this spot on my armpit was almost the exact spot where her head always used to rest when we slept together. A wart, then?
I called a dermatologist and made an appointment to have this fleshy thing removed and biopsied, but the earliest slot that the doctor had open was next month. That just left the question of what to do in the meantime. I read online that warts can be spread by contact, so if this was indeed a wart, then having it on the inside of my armpit might result in it spreading as the side of my arm rubbed against it. I decided to err on the side of caution by treating it as if it was a wart and putting a salicylic acid bandage over it.
Two days later, I took off the bandage and noticed that the fleshy thing had changed color. Instead of being skin colored, it was now a dark red. Taking care not to contact it with bare skin, I tugged experimentally at it and it fell right off, leaving only a tiny spot of blood where it had been. At this point I confess that I freaked out a little, tossed the thing in the toilet, and took a long shower.
The question is, what do I do now? There is absolutely no trace of the fleshy thing since I didn't have the presence of mind to hang on to it, and by the time I see my dermatologist I probably won't even be able to remember the exact spot where it was. So now I'm concerned that if it was a cancerous tumor, I may have removed the doctor's ability to diagnose me. Even if it was just a wart, I'd really like to have medical verification so that I can provide full disclosure and make sure anybody I get involved with in the future can receive the necessary vaccination. On the other hand, I recognize that no matter how common such things are, there's still a stigma attached, and I don't want to "overdisclose" if it could simply have been an inflamed hair follicle or something like that.
So my question is: will a dermatologist be able to identify what that thing was, even in the absence of any physical evidence? And how alarmed should I be?