@antedeluvian: "Other good advice is to have a colonoscopy- Dave Barry did a great piece on this."
Yes, Dave Barry has certainly nailed down the MoviPrep experience, although the taste seems better than the phosphate laxatives of 10 years ago. I'm looking forward to my next colonoscopy; it won't be for another 10 years, so if I'm still around then I'll be doing good!
@Max The Magnificent: "Those aren't liver spots; they're [some incredibly complicated name that ultimately translated into dry skin]."
I know what your're going through, Max. Was it Actinic Keratosis, perhaps? That's what sent me to a dermatologist, who looked me over (allover) and said she wanted a sample of two suspicious nevi and the thing on my earlobe before she burned off the AK with liquid nitrogen.
That thing on my earlobe, which looked like an oversize freckle, turned out to be Melanoma, in situ, Stage 0, which meant it was only in that one spot and hadn't had time to spread. Believe me, they couldn't get it off of me fast enough to suit me, but it was a week-and-a-half before the surgeon had an available appointment.
Now every 6 months I pay $40 to have two women look at my almost naked body (they wouldn't do that for free even in Canada!), but if they want to they get to stick me with needles and carve out chunks of my body, or burn parts of my skin off with liquid nitrogen. I've had all three of the lesions you mentioned, all caught in time.
Bottom line: I heartily endorse Max's Maxim: Don't Delay -- Visit Your Dermatologist Today!
If you want to you can check out the gory details of my personal journey with Melanoma on the earlobe and a Pedicle Flap (plastic surgery). Sorry, but I never got a photo of The Mother Of All Keloids that now hides behind my ear.
@KarlS01 - this seems to be a universal problem. I reckon there should be referendums on any issue (a) over a certain amount of $ (b) affecting over a certain number of people (c) if there is a petition with over a certain number of signatures. Cumbersome, yes, but how else do you keep the mongrels honest? But they'd never agree to something like this, it would take away their gravy train.....
How did we get onto politics from Dermatologists??? :-)
@Charles: ...we need to take time to visit as many medical professionals as possible.
Hmmm -- I'm not sure if you mean this or if you are being a tad sarcastic (LOL). I think you can have too much of a good thing -- some people spend their lives visiting different doctors for no good reason -- but I certainly think it's well worth gertting a regular checkup :-)