Should I get this thing checked out?
November 14, 2015 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Should I get a new mole (ew) looked at?

So, over the course of the past month or so, a mole (the fleshy lump kind, not the dark brown dot kind) has grown on my left temple. It's roughly the size of a pencil eraser. It doesn't hurt or anything. But, given that I've never had such a growth on me in my entire 57 years, it's bugging me. Especially how fast it grew.

So, is this something worth getting looked at? Do they normally grow that quick? I know most people have these things and seem to not bother with them. I assume the only real way they can be "checked" is to have it removed.

So, would you do anything about a suddenly appearing mole?
posted by Thorzdad to Health & Fitness (20 answers total)
 
Go to the Dr.
posted by mollymayhem at 6:07 PM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Answer for this is always YES. No one on AskMe is qualified to tell you otherwise.
posted by whitewall at 6:08 PM on November 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'd see a dermatologist asap. My moles grow from flat to raised slooooooooooooowly over many years. A month is very concerning.
posted by gatorae at 6:08 PM on November 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I assume the only real way they can be "checked" is to have it removed.
That isn't my experience, for what it's worth. I've shown a couple of lumps and bumps to my doctor and been told "we can take that off if it's bothering you, but cancer doesn't typically look like that."

Anyway, yes, get it checked out.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:11 PM on November 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, go. The sooner the better. "Evolving" is one of the ABCs of what is problematic for moles. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma/melanoma-warning-signs-and-images/do-you-know-your-abcdes#panel1-5
posted by getawaysticks at 6:24 PM on November 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


What would I do? I'd be at the doctor right now. My dad died of melanoma at 60 because he put off having a suspicious mole checked out until it was too late. Don't mess around with this stuff. Go to the doctor.
posted by something something at 6:27 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The corollary to "fuck cancer" is "don't fuck around with cancer". See a doctor.
posted by mhoye at 6:29 PM on November 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


A month is such a short period of time for such a significant change. I know it's an inconvenience, but this is absolutely worth seeking professional advice.
posted by samthemander at 6:30 PM on November 14, 2015


Dermatologists are notorious for long wait times — weeks or even months. Be sure to emphasize that this thing is growing fast, that you are very freaked out, and that would like to be seen as soon as possible. Also, be prepared to call a couple of offices to find an opening.
posted by purpleclover at 7:00 PM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


The dermatologist will tell you immediately whether it needs to be biopsied. Always better safe than sorry. FWIW, I've had several suspicious things removed and the face heals faster than anywhere else. If you have to have it shaved off, it's not the end of the world. Take care of yourself!
posted by killy willy at 7:16 PM on November 14, 2015


Visiting a dermatologist annually is not a bad idea AT ALL, especially at your age. My wife encouraged me to go in for some random bump on my head, which turned out to be nothing really. While I was there however she took a look at a bump on my hand which turned out to me malignant squamous cell cancer.

Thinking about it another way, how stupid would you feel about dying from something that could have been dealt with in a fifteen minute doctors visit?

Go to the doctor!
posted by jcworth at 7:38 PM on November 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


No one on AskMe is qualified to tell you otherwise.

Many people on Metafilter are qualified but Thorzdad's description is insufficient. A good photo will often suffice but few people have a macro lens. A photo taken with a cell phone won't help.

A seborrheic keratosis can appear and grow pretty fast and is benign (nondeadly) as hell. They are typically described as looking "fleshy" and "stuck on" (sitting above the surface of the skin) and are brown to gray with NO black. Basal cell carcinoma (a cancer) has a smooth, "pearly", flesh colored, but grow very slowly (takes years to double in size). Squamous cell carcinoma (a cancer) is varied in appearance and growth rate. A melanoma is black (rarely blue) and deadly.
posted by neuron at 9:12 PM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, go in asap. It's so close to your brain! Aaahhh!

My dad has a completely badass Frankenstein scar on his temple from getting a basal cell carcinoma removed. So there's that.
posted by town of cats at 10:26 PM on November 14, 2015


I had a friend in college who delayed having a mole checked because she didn't have health insurance. She's dead.
posted by jessca84 at 10:27 PM on November 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


(Not trying to be an alarmist dick, but that really did happen and it was tragic because it could have so EASILY been prevented. This is a no brainer.)
posted by jessca84 at 10:52 PM on November 14, 2015


Definitely get it checked. And agree with above advice that yes, sometimes a doc will look at a mole and be able to tell that it's not a problem. So that is totally possible.

Anecdote: I had a mole on my back that itched like hell. My derm could tell it was benign just by looking at it, but she did actually remove it so it wouldn't itch so much.

But seriously, go to the doctor.
posted by radioamy at 11:56 PM on November 14, 2015


I would recommend you be seen by a physician.

But also, here is some general information on which kinds of moles are more concerning for cancer. Neuron gives some good descriptions above and you can click on the links on this page to see images.

I know most people have these things and seem to not bother with them.

That is true. Unfortunately, in the case of skin growths, that means a lot of people don't catch cancer early.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:11 AM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Thanks, all. It's good to get your butt kicked into gear once in awhile.

To follow up...Should I first see my GP (where I know I can definitely get in right away), or go directly to a dermatologist if possible?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


You'll probably need to speak wth a dermatologist. However, if you need a referral, your GP is a good first step. Your GP can also provide you with a second set of eyes and may be able to provide expedited scheduling based on her findings.
posted by samthemander at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Update: Mole was fine. I forget the type it was, but doc said it would probably shrink and go away. And, it did. Thanks, all!
posted by Thorzdad at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


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