Melanoma

I have recently been diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma I am due to meet the the team in 2 weeks for my treatment plan etc.

my 13 year old son has a white tiny lump on his ear I am frantic it’s melanoma too!! I took him to the gp who was very vague and said she would possibly refer him to the ear clinic or the dermatologist but is he didn’t feel it was urgent so it would be a non urgent referral . This lump has been visible on his ear for probably around 5 years and there has never been any worry around it but now I am beating myself up thinking it’s something sinister. 

my stress and anxiety levels are through the roof and I am consuming so much energy looking . Feeling . Staring at my sons ear it’s not healthy at all x 

  •  Hi there Amccl,

     

    Welcome to the Online Community here at Macmillan. I’m Kirstine, one of the information nurses. I’m really glad you have reached out to us here today. It’s not unusual to feel heightened anxiety about yourself and those around you when you are faced with a cancer diagnosis and it can feel really frightening.

     

    Melanoma in children is extremely rare, and it’s very unlikely that something that has been present for five years in somebody so young, without causing other problems, is going to turn out to be a skin cancer. Of course the best thing you can do for yourself and any children is to practice sun safety using good quality high factor sun cream, encouraging shade and use of hats in the sun and covering over skin when possible. It’s good that you have raised this with the GP though and hopefully the routine check will provide you with the reassurance you need.

     

    Health anxiety can be triggered by a traumatic health experience, including receiving a cancer diagnosis for yourself, and can lead to you worrying excessively about your own health, or somebody else’s who is close to you. It’s a genuinely horrible feeling and really difficult to feel at ease when the anxiety takes over how you are feeling and thinking every day. We understand how hard this must be for you right now. Stress and anxiety could both benefit from having some structured support as soon as possible. Please chat with your GP about this and they can help advise what treatment options might be best to help you cope with the way you are feeling.

     

    Talking therapies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) are really helpful in addressing these thought processes and helping you find healthy ways to deal with them. You could ask your GP about this and access some help through the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) scheme. Alternatively you may be able to access support by calling us and we can discuss referring you to our partner BUPA for some free counselling.

     

    Coping with anxiety can be exhausting. Please chat with the treating team at the hospital about how this is impacting you. You will hopefully meet a Clinical Nurse Specialist who may be able to support you further and advice about local services that could be good for you. The Stress and Anxiety Companion app might be helpful to look at in addition to any wider support you access. Complementary therapies can be useful to explore to help you cope with the impact of your diagnosis. Mind have this really helpful information with suggestions on how to manage the way you are feeling.

     

    Melanoma Focus have fantastic resources for when you are ready to look at these. We also have some excellent resources on melanoma but it may help to chat with us first so we can select the appropriate booklets for you depending on your exact situation.

     

    It helps to talk, so please reach out and chat with us or others, such as our community in the Melanoma Forum, but try to stay away from ‘googling’ as this can add to anxiety.

     

    I wish you and your son all the very best with your upcoming appointments.

     

    Take care,

     

    Kirstine – Macmillan

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

  • Thank you so much for this reply. My mind is running away with myself in regards to my sons ear. 
    anxiety is my biggest thing so I will chat with the cancer nurse once I meet her.

    many thanks 

  • Thank you for the reply , looking back at old pictures he has had the white lump/mark on his ear for around 8 years….waiting on a dermatologist appointment. Sure it’s my mind in overdrive due to my melanoma diagnosis x 

    1. anxiety…. I have been speaking with a counsellor which is helping greatly x