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Question about second opinions

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Question about second opinions

  • Post
    Rami
    Participant

      I posted my concerns under the Subungual melanoma topic (including pictures). I was amazingly able to get in to see a dermatologist today in one of the Kaiser offices in Colorado. I had previously sent a picture of the stripe in my nail along with information that I had lost the nail as a child. When the derm came into the room and introduced himself he said I saw the picture and I think I have good news. He examined my nail with the naked eye, then using a small handheld magnifying glass and then using some head apparatus. It was all very quick so after stressing all day yesterday about it, I was kind of in shock when he said that all I had was benign Melanonychia. He stated it was negative for Hutchinson’s even though in the pictures the steak appears to run the length of the nail. He also measured the top and bottom and said they were symmetrical. I asked him about a biopsy and he said it wasn’t indicated. Again it was all rather quick so I left feeling a bit unsure. Would you recommend a second opinion or trust this doctor without a biopsy? I have no family history of melanoma. Still stressing about this so looking for feedback either way. Thank you!

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    • Replies
        guynamedbilly
        Participant

          Before I was diagnosed, I probably would have accepted his opinion.  Now, I would definitely get a second opinion if I felt unsure about anything.

          CancerSpouse
          Participant

            I agree. Get a second opinion for your peace of mind, if nothing else. 

            cancersnewnormal
            Participant

              Nobody has the ability to diagnose purly by looking with their eyes. I would absolutely get a second opinion, and insist on a biopsy. I've seen many very confident doctors make mistakes. They're still human. 

              Here's an article you might find interesting: 

              http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-feature-articles/pigmented-bands-nails-warrant

                cancersnewnormal
                Participant

                  An important quote from the above linked article: “Just as with skin lesions, dermoscopy can provide clues and help guide the decision for biopsy, but should not be relied on for definitive diagnosis."

                  Rami
                  Participant

                    Thank you so much for the article. I did have a second opinion appt today and the doctor recommended a biopsy. It’s two weeks from now, hoping I can keep my anxiety under control until then. I really like this doctor, when I asked her if she thought it was cancer she said “my gut says no, but I’ve been humbled before, so let’s do a biopsy.” At least she recognizes that doctors make mistakes and when they do it’s my life that’s affected, not theirs….

                    cancersnewnormal
                    Participant

                      She sounds like a perfect second opinion! Good news that her gut says no. Hang onto that for the next few weeks. Biopsy results might take a couple more weeks. 

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