Patient Stories

Sabrina's story - "Your newsletter may have saved my life"

MoleMap Team
August 21, 2023
5 minutes

How a timely article on the early symptoms of melanoma changed everything

early symptoms of melanoma changed everything
Above: Aus­tralian woman Sab­ri­na (not pic­tured) caught nodu­lar melanoma ear­ly thanks to a MoleMap arti­cle about the ABCDE and EFG rules of melanoma.

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Unremarkable mole's warning

A chance read­ing of MoleMap’s month­ly newslet­ter meant 43-year old Sab­ri­na had an ​“unre­mark­able” mole checked. It turned out to be melanoma, but for­tu­nate­ly, her quick action meant it was found ear­ly. Sab­ri­na was hap­py for us to share her sto­ry in the hope that it may inspire oth­ers to get any unusu­al-look­ing moles checked ear­ly.​

“Sev­er­al months ago a spot appeared that looked com­plete­ly unre­mark­able yet caught my atten­tion,” she says. ​“I for­got to raise this with my Der­ma­tol­o­gist, and she didn’t men­tion it in our con­sul­ta­tion short­ly there­after, so I made a men­tal note to keep a vague eye on it and moved on. ”As a past MoleMap cus­tomer, Sab­ri­na receives – and usu­al­ly reads — our month­ly email newslet­ters. ​“I have a very strong fam­i­ly his­to­ry of melanoma so am high­ly vig­i­lant with my skin and see a Der­ma­tol­o­gist reg­u­lar­ly,” she says.

Two to three months lat­er, Sab­ri­na realised that the spot had def­i­nite­ly changed. ​“It still looked quite unre­mark­able, but that same day I received your newslet­ter which out­lined the EFG rule of spot­ting nodu­lar melanoma. I’d pre­vi­ous­ly only been aware of the ABCDE rule, and soon realised my spot had all of fea­tures of the EFG rule – it was Ele­vat­ed, Firm and Growing.”

Unremarkable mole's warning
Above: Nodu­lar melanoma is fast-grow­ing and can quick­ly become life-threat­en­ing. Look for the ​‘EFG’ signs – moles or spots that are Ele­vat­ed, Firm and/​or Grow­ing.

From precautionary removal to recovery

Sabrina’s GP removed the spot the fol­low­ing day as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure. ​“She didn’t think it was any­thing sin­is­ter at the time,” says Sab­ri­na, ​“but it was lat­er deter­mined that the spot was in fact a nodu­lar melanoma, just over 1mm thick. I have since had a wide local exci­sion per­formed and last week was noti­fied that no fur­ther trace of melanoma was found in the excised area. Fur­ther mon­i­tor­ing and lymph checks will be car­ried out, but that’s all that is required.”

​“Your newslet­ter may have lit­er­al­ly saved my life. I’m 43 years old and have such a strong fam­i­ly his­to­ry — so you can imag­ine the angst this has caused my fam­i­ly, but less so giv­en that it was detect­ed ear­ly. I don’t know what’s around the cor­ner but I cer­tain­ly know it’s a lot bet­ter than may have oth­er­wise been had I not received this infor­ma­tion. Thank you – to say I’m extreme­ly grate­ful is an understatement.”

Thank you Sab­ri­na for shar­ing your sto­ry and we’re so glad to hear our newslet­ter made a dif­fer­ence. And a reminder to any­one else with a mole or spot that is new, chang­ing or sim­ply doesn’t look right, don’t chance it — get it pro­fes­sion­al­ly mole check or skin check as soon as pos­si­ble. It may turn out to be noth­ing to wor­ry about … or it may just save your life.

Have a mole that’s wor­ry­ing you? Check out our arti­cle on the ABCDE and EFG rules of skin can­cer. If you have a skin can­cer sto­ry you’d like to share to inspire oth­ers, please email us.

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MoleMap Team

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