I'm 28 and Scared out of my mind- just diagnosed

Posted By
8/16/2010 12:51pm
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Replies: 13

I can't even believe I'm writing this, but here goes my introduction. I'm 28, female, and just diagnosed with melanoma. It is believed to be localized, but they do have to go back in and remove a larger area around where the mole was. I had another mole tested and it came back as highly abnormal (not malignant as far as they could tell) and something about possibly invasive. The pathologist actually called my doctor because they were so concerned since I'm so young.

I've had the normal sunburns, but I don't use tanning beds (with the exception of a few times before my wedding 6 years ago), and I'm not someone who is always in the sun.

My doctor is talking to a dermantoligst to see how we should approach this.

I'm so scared right now. I also have another issue going on in which I am having a kidney ultrasound today for. It could be nothing or it could be cancer which would be extremely rare for my age, but then again, I now have skin cancer at 28.

I'm hoping to find some comfort and community in this group.



I am new to this community and just saw your post. How is it going? I am sorry to hear that you are going through this, Let me know what is happening.





Sorry you have been diagnosed with melanoma. You will learn more as you have the wider excision and your melanoma is "staged" (see this site for more info on staging and then treatments). It may be wise to see a melanoma oncologist once you have staging information to discuss treatment (if any) options.

As far as your age, yes you are young, but melanoma affects all ages. We have some parents of nine year olds with melanoma on this board and many other people in their twenties and all the way up to 80's and 90's. Some people get ocular melanoma or vulvar melanoma so while sun exposure is an important factor, other reasons exist for why some people get melanoma too.

This is a good site to learn more about melanoma and this board is helpful for getting support and information. Treatment decisions need to be made by you and your team taking into account all your particular health issues, and aimed at what is best FOR YOU. There are standard FDA approved treatments for certain stages and many clinical trials that people also choose to engage in. 

Again, until you have more information about the depth, etc of your melanoma, if you have a sentinal node biopsy, etc, it will be hard to guess what lies ahead for you.

Good luck, and let us know your updates!

Vermont_Donna, stage 3a

stable after 4 infusions of Ipi

You have come to the right place for support, education and information. Sorry you have to join us. One of the best things you can do is to get a copy of the pathologist's report and tell us what is in it. Before the docs in to do more surgery, it may be that a Sentinel Node Biopsy should be done. This procedure, done just before further surgery, will tell the docs where the lymph node bed is that drains the area where your melanoma is located. As they then remove some nodes, prior to any other surgery, they will know if there is melanoma present in these nodes. This will help to determine your Stage and treatments. The initial pathology report is the key to determine if the Sentinel Node Biopsy is advisable.

All of this will be Greek to you but we'll help you along. Best wishes.

I'm sorry you've had to join us but I'm sure that you will get lots of info here, maybe too much.  You are just diagnosed and this website can be very scary.  Most of the people here have advanced stage melanoma and reading our posts will indeed scare you!  That being said we do have some long time stage 1 people.  Look for Janners and Michael's posts!

It sounds like your family Doctor might be who you have been dealing with.  Melanoma is not something to fool around with and you need to initially find a dermatologist that has melanoma experience. My derm only deals with skin cancers and no other derm needs such as botox or acne.  Depending on your pathology report you would then decide if you need to see a melanoma oncologist.

If possible re-type someof your pathology report and people will comment.  Right now we really don't have enough info. No matter what your next step is a wide exicision.  Do not mix up levels for staging!!  If your report says Clark level 3 for example that is not stage 3!!

I know it's difficult but don't panic!  28 is actually right in the age range that most melanoma's show up. I've never been in a tanning bed and only had 1 bad sunburn. Mine showed up when I was 26, I'm now 57.   We also have parents of young children on this board. While tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancer and also laying out in the sun, we have many who have not had much sun exposure.

Please post your path report,


Hello uvagirl

I too am new, I do know the feeling you are having.  My journey just started as well in January and I do have to say: I feel better every single day.  The dealing with the diagnosis comes a little bit easier with each step you take.  I had the wide excision on my back in February and Sentinal node mapping and biopsy.  Now I am on to "what do I do next?" 

Do you have any of your info from your pathology reports?  If you post that information, there are 'warriors' on here that will give you a breakdown of what the hell you are looking at.  ( size of the mole, ulcerated or not, mitotic rate..etc)

The other words of advice that you just heard on another response is GO to a melanoma specialist.  Look them up.  They are listed on this site as well.  That is important.  I am doing that as we speak. 

When people say, take one day, one step at a time; listen to them.  It helps. 

Good luck with everything and stay strong.


You're living in one of the scariest times because of all of the uncertainty you're dealing with right now, but hang in there.  Believe it or not, it gets easier once you know what you're dealing with.  I was diagnosed with Stage IIIc melanoma in 2003 (14 malignant lymph nodes) and underwent biochemotherapy treatments.  Today, I'm healthy and showing no evident disease.  I've blogged about the lighter side of my long, strange trip at www.hotelmelanoma.blogspot.ccom.  There are lots of treatment success stories on this discussion board!

Please, please go see an oncologist who specializes in melanoma treatment and preferably one associated with a cancer center certified by the National Cancer Institute.  Doing so will insure that you receive the best available treatment advice and options after your cancer is staged.  I don't know where you live, but I'm sure this community will help you find a specialist in your area.  Best wishes to you.

Did we miss this post? It is dated 8/16/10?


This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

I think so. I am new to the boards (last night) and saw it as I was reading, decided to reply since no one had. Apparently, that puts it at the top of the list?

Yes, it moves it to the top of the list. I was away during that time as I got married and had a honeymoon.


This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

Anonymous - (3/11/2011 - 10:25am)

This was a double post.  The other posting was answered at the time.  If you click on the poster's name, you can check out previous posts.  You can see other answers given in the timeframe of the original post.

Since this thread is active again, I'll give an update.

I'm doing well and time does make dealing with this easier.

I was dealing with a lot when I was first diagnosed....not knowing anything about melanoma (except it was cancer and could be deadly), I had recently lost my grandmother, and I was undergoing tests for another medical issue.

I had an in situ melanoma which is obviously the best place to be if you have to have melanoma.

My WLEs came back with clear margins...both the melanoma and the severly dysplastic one (the second path on the dysplastic showed only mild dysplasia).  Another mole was removed, but came back fine as well.

I see a derm every 4 months now who speacilizes in melanoma (her husband actually is a melanoma survivor as well). I had another mole biopsied after my last derm check just to be careful and it came back completely fine.

I had an abdominal CT with IV and oral contrast among many other tests for my non melanoma health concern (extra things like contrast were done just to be on the safe side since I had a recent melanoma diagnosis.....all of which came back completely normal.

Since it was in situ, no other follow ups are needed.  I do regular skin checks and have become very familar with my skin. I know the dangers of sun now and make sure I take precautions when I'm outside....always, no exceptions.

That's all I can do.  I'm really trying to learn lessons from it...not just about my health and the sun, but also about how I live my life and not taking things for granted, enjoying the small things, etc.  

Sure enough just found the other one, it was a double post. Boy, I do wish they would go back to the old site as it was actually easier to use and navigate, and I don't have to log in everytime I come to the page.

Glad everything turned out good for you.

Michael stage 1b

This information is for general patient educational & information purposes only. It should not be used for diagnosing/treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

This has happened quite often recently where people comment on posts that are a few months old, sometimes when the situation has greatly changed for the worse.  Definitely a flaw in the setup!!

UVAgirl, I'm thrilled with your results and glad it was an insitu!!  You need to forget this site and go on living, just continue to check in with your derm and watch the sun.

Michael, Congratulations on the wedding!  Life does continue and your proving it!!