When good moles go bad

dr dave hepburnAmong the less intelligent activities I participate in (apparently they are legion) is to jump into a tiny floating apparatus with an engine that usually works and motor 23 miles out to sea to an aquatic nirvana teeming in coho, chinook, halibut, mermaids and other delicacies of the deep.

One day whilst I was jigging away obliviously on the Swiftsure Banks suddenly a massive humpback whale broke the ocean surface and came crashing down not far from my boat. A few seconds later he (I’m sure I spotted an Adam’s apple, though it might have been my own) did it again only this time closer to the boat, then again and closer still. A fourth breach was less than 20 yards away as it became chillingly obvious that this whale was deliberately making his way towards me. He then did the tail fluke thing, flipping it in the air and dove right UNDER MY FREAKIN’ BOAT! It was at this time that I felt about the size and importance of a large krill although my bladder felt the size of Saskatoon. I only hoped I wouldn’t be mistaken for krill or that this 35 ton behemoth wouldn’t surface with my boat perched on its blowhole or testicles. With a mix of fear and fascination I then beheld this happy humpy break the surface of the water on the other side of my boat and this time perform a stunning full body breach (getting an 8 from the French judgette) and then crash back to the ocean, thankfully leaving me afloat upon it.

One thing I noticed, through tears, about blubber boy, was that he could surely do with a dermatologist just as I apparently was in need of a urologist. He was covered in barnacles, a fact that reminded me of Mrs. Arbuckle. Though the whale was, in fact, significantly larger, Mrs. Arbuckle was constantly plagued with barnacles growing on her face, scalp, top of her hands and forearms. These sandpapery lesions had her concerned that she had skin cancer.

1. Mrs. Arbuckle’s barnacles were Actinic Keratosis (AK’s), precancerous lesions found on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Left alone a few of these could turn into squamous cell cancer so it is best to zap the AK’s with a liquid nitrogen gun, which I like to call my AK47, allowing me to make little ratatatat noises as I fire away at these lesions.

2. Skin tags are polyps that pop up in older or obese patients, often in the folds of the neck or armpit. They often have a little stalk and can flop about like Gumby on Valium. They are NOT precancerous but because they get caught on jewelry, clothing or nearby branches they are best snipped off with scissors or the AK47.

3. In most barnacle articles it is always useful to review the symptoms of when good moles go bad. Tens of thousands of North Americans will develop malignant melanoma this year and 15 percent will die of it. I suggest that every now and then you should have someone who loves you unconditionally scour your back, remembering the ABCD’s of bad moles.

Asymmetry of a mole: If one side looks like Jimmy Durante but the other half looks like the Virgin Mother then see a doctor or head to E-bay.

Borders of the mole are irregular

Color is abnormally dark or variable

Diameter is more than .6 cm.

Remember, if a mole is itchy, bleeding, growing, darkening or at all suspicious I’d be glad to take a look at it. You can find me fishing… from a supertanker.

Contact Dr. Dave or