As the anesthesiolgist told me when I was about to have my WLE and SNB, "Melanoma doesn't care" (that [you] have never tanned or sunbathed), still, I am wondering how many other people have this same story.
I am now 37, but a year ago I had two separate, unrelated cancers at the same time -- thyroid cancer and melanoma. Because my lesion was pink (amelanotic), it was missed initially when I went to see a dermatologist! It then had 9 months to grow before I noticed it felt more raised and my husband insisted I call.
Anyway, all the details are in my profile, but in short: lesion on my upper left torso (an area normally covered by a shirt), .9 mm, Clark's level III/IV, non-ulcerated, mitotic rate of 2, negative sentinel node biopsy.
As someone who has struggled with my weight my whole life, I have been a very covered up person -- never worn a bikini. Never tanned or sunbathed. I am fair-skainned with reddish hair, but not unusually fair or red. As a child growing up in Baltimore, I definitely had a few bad sunburns, and in my 20s I had a bad sunburn on my back while in Greece -- but in general, I can confidently say I am good about sun protection (I live in Seattle now).
If I can rant a minute longer, I just want to add that when I am feeling low, I sometimes feel like I got a sexy person's disease (bikini/beach/tanning beds), without having the advantage of having the fun.
So how many others are baffled by this diagnosis? It must be a misconception I had that melanoma only strikes people that tanned and sunbathed.