Breast implants help fight child’s giant moles from turning into cancer
"The largest one was from above his ears all the way down to his bottom, so it went all the way down around his shoulders, belly and entire backside.
When it comes to saving lives of little children, breast implants is the last thing that you’d think of. But for Dylan Little, it is the very thing that has helped keep him alive and cancer-free.
The tot was born with giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus, a condition so rare that it affects one in every 20,000 people.
As a result of his condition, his body is covered in moles both huge and small. The largest mole stretched from above his ear to his bottom.
“When Dylan was born, more than 80% of his body was covered in moles—his back was entirely black and bleeding, his face, arms and legs were all covered in moles,” his mom Kara told Mirror.
“The largest one was from above his ears all the way down to his bottom, so it went all the way down around his shoulders, belly and entire backside.
“As well hundreds of satellites where the moles ranged from half the size of a dollar to the dot of a pen.
Worried that their son’s moles will turn into cancer, Kara and her partner Nikki decided to take medical action.
To combat the posibilityof his moles turning into cancer, the skin was stretched by putting expanders under the skin filled with saline—a process similar to breast implants.
Three months later, the expanders are taken out and the expanded skin is used to cover areas where the nevus has been removed.
“They put them inside the body under the clearer sections and over three months fill them up with saline until they grow and triple in size, like a water balloon inside him,” Kara said.
“They then use the excess skin to cover the area of nevus that they have removed.
“We’ve taken off around 50%, we’ve gone for the delicate areas around the neck, shoulders and upper back.”
Thus far, the child from Atlanta, Georgia has undergone a total of 26 surgeries and more than 50% of the affected areas have been removed.
“He has surgery every three to six months, dependent on which area of the body—if it’s on the lower back we wait six months, while having another surgery to work on other parts.”
There will come a time when Dylan will run out of good skin, but according to his parents as long as majority of the affected skin is removed, the chances of them turning into cancer are lessened.
But that’s not all.
On top of his regular surgeries, Dylan also has to undergo MRI scans twice a year to monitor whether or not the cancerous growths have moved in his brain or spine where he has melanocyte deposits.
“We don’t know what his future holds at this point, he could have days, weeks, years or decades—which is why we are doing everything we can to keep him with us.”
Find out more a out Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus on the next page!
What is Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus?
The congenital melanocytic nevus is a type of melanocytic nevus (or mole) found in infants at birth.
This type of birthmark occurs in an estimated 1% of infants worldwide, and it is located in the area of the head and neck 15% of the time.
Signs and symptoms
The congenital melanocytic nevus appears as a circumscribed, light brown to black patch or plaque, potentially very heterogeneous in consistency, covering any size surface area and any part of the body.
Large and especially giant congenital nevi are at higher risk for malignancy degeneration into melanoma.
Because of the premalignant potential, it is an acceptable clinical practice to remove congenital nevi electively in all patients and relieve the nevocytic overload.
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