The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Suspicious mole was cauterized, not biopsied

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Suspicious mole was cauterized, not biopsied

  • Post
    workingabroad
    Participant

      Hello from someone new here…

      Hello from someone new here…

      My mother has had ML and I've always been quite aware of the need for skin checks, etc.  I've had two negative punch biopsies, and know how important it is to have either punch or excisional biopsies of any suspicious mole.  This summer, a very suspicious mole appeared out of nowhere on my husband's back.  Although it was symmetrical and smooth-edged, it was very dark black, new, and completely out of place.  I insisted that he have it checked out, and schedule a biopsy.  The derm told him that although he didn't think it was cancerous, "it's like playing with a cobra" and he should have it removed.  Today he went back for the procedure.  Unfortunately, I didn't go with him.  The derm convinced my husband that it would be fine to electrically cauterize it, along with some skin tags around his neck.  I could have killed my husband for allowing it, but it was too late.  No tissue was sent for biopsy, so we have no idea whether that lesion was pre-cancerous, cancerous, or benign.  It was simply destroyed.

      I didn't know that any derm would still be so ignorant as to *not* send a suspicious mole for biopsy.  However, we are working abroad at the moment (we're from the U.S.) and local derms do not see much ML.  There is not a lot of risk or incidence among the local population.  We thought that since this derm was educated in the UK that he'd be more knowledgeable.

      Is there anything that can be done, aside from kicking myself and better educating my husband so he never allows a derm to do this again?  What concerns me is that the derm told my husband (as he was cauterizing):  "This is very black, and very deep."  I'm really worried that it might have been a nodular melanoma.  It terrifies me that we may never know until (God forbid) it's too late.  I haven't expressed this to him, as there doesn't seem to be any point in making him panic about something that's over and done with.  Any advice or words of support are very welcome.

      Thank you!

      Loading spinner
    Viewing 11 reply threads
    • Replies
        lhaley
        Participant

          Have you thought about insisting on a wide excision?  That way they could make sure that margins are clean. You'll never know but at least it might give you some peace of mind. 

          What country are you in?  I would think in any country a derm would know better.

          Best wishes,

          Linda

          Loading spinner
          lhaley
          Participant

            Have you thought about insisting on a wide excision?  That way they could make sure that margins are clean. You'll never know but at least it might give you some peace of mind. 

            What country are you in?  I would think in any country a derm would know better.

            Best wishes,

            Linda

            Loading spinner
            bcl
            Participant

               If it were me, I would go back and tell him to biopsy the site. If he refused, I would find someone who would. But I've already had mel and freak out over everything. At minimum, watch closely for regrowth. And take photos, if in case the area begins to look odd and you have to insist on a proper biopsy.  I hope it proves to be nothing of concern:)  linda

              Loading spinner
              bcl
              Participant

                 If it were me, I would go back and tell him to biopsy the site. If he refused, I would find someone who would. But I've already had mel and freak out over everything. At minimum, watch closely for regrowth. And take photos, if in case the area begins to look odd and you have to insist on a proper biopsy.  I hope it proves to be nothing of concern:)  linda

                Loading spinner
                Linda/Kentucky
                Participant

                  My husband went to his derm. a year ago this past spring for a suspicious place behind his ear.  She too "froze" it off because she said " it does not look like anything to worry about" no biopsy to confirm anything.  Well 6 months later he had swelling in that area and a hard knot come up.  I sent him to an Ears,Nose, Throat doctor and he took him to the OR and biopsied it.  As soon as he cut into it he said "look how black that is, it looks like melanoma"  Sent it off immediately and was told that day it was melanoma.  Long story short here we are 10 months since he had it cut out and he is stage IV lung,liver and bone mets.  Please don't sit on this for goodness sake have it re-checked it's not worth the risk.  I just wish we had the opportunity to have done it.  Things may have been different today.  Good luck and hopefully it will turn out to be nothing at all.

                   

                  Linda/Kentucky

                  Loading spinner
                  Linda/Kentucky
                  Participant

                    My husband went to his derm. a year ago this past spring for a suspicious place behind his ear.  She too "froze" it off because she said " it does not look like anything to worry about" no biopsy to confirm anything.  Well 6 months later he had swelling in that area and a hard knot come up.  I sent him to an Ears,Nose, Throat doctor and he took him to the OR and biopsied it.  As soon as he cut into it he said "look how black that is, it looks like melanoma"  Sent it off immediately and was told that day it was melanoma.  Long story short here we are 10 months since he had it cut out and he is stage IV lung,liver and bone mets.  Please don't sit on this for goodness sake have it re-checked it's not worth the risk.  I just wish we had the opportunity to have done it.  Things may have been different today.  Good luck and hopefully it will turn out to be nothing at all.

                     

                    Linda/Kentucky

                    Loading spinner
                    Bonnie Lea
                    Participant

                      I agree, there is nothing wrong with the doctors doing a WLE  (wide local excision) even if the orig mole has been comprimised.

                      I also would like to know which country you are residing in.  But remember to just keep calm and think positive.

                      Loading spinner
                      Bonnie Lea
                      Participant

                        I agree, there is nothing wrong with the doctors doing a WLE  (wide local excision) even if the orig mole has been comprimised.

                        I also would like to know which country you are residing in.  But remember to just keep calm and think positive.

                        Loading spinner
                        Sharyn
                        Participant

                          I agree with the others who suggested you go back and get a WLE done on that site. With a cauterization, there's no way the margins would have been cleared, so if it is mel, there will still be some cells hanging around. If nothing shows up, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Insist on a re-excision, and if the derm doesn't do it, fine someone who will. Better to be safe than sorry with this disease. Good luck!

                          Hugs

                          Sharyn

                          Stage IV

                          Loading spinner
                          Sharyn
                          Participant

                            I agree with the others who suggested you go back and get a WLE done on that site. With a cauterization, there's no way the margins would have been cleared, so if it is mel, there will still be some cells hanging around. If nothing shows up, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Insist on a re-excision, and if the derm doesn't do it, fine someone who will. Better to be safe than sorry with this disease. Good luck!

                            Hugs

                            Sharyn

                            Stage IV

                            Loading spinner
                            workingabroad
                            Participant

                              Thank you, everyone, for your replies.  I didn't realize that the site could still be biopsied if the original mole is gone, so that information is very helpful.  My husband initially thought I was over-reacting, but I think I've convinced him now to have it re-excised.  We have a trip home in October, and we've decided to have it done there.  We're working in the Arab Gulf region (would rather not say which country), and in general the health care system here is very good.  We've lived here for 4 years and never had a problem. They don't see much melanoma, though, so it's hard to find a doctor who has experience with this beast.  So he'll have it checked out when we're home.

                              Linda/Kentucky, your experience is my worst fear, and I'm so sorry to hear of this pain that you're going through.  It was primarily your story that convinced my husband to agree to the re-excision, so please know that others are learning from you.  I don't know if that's any comfort to you, but I do thank you for sharing.

                              Loading spinner
                                dian in spokane
                                Participant

                                  you might try to get that appointment ahead of time. Sometimes it's difficult to get a timely appt with a derm these days, so starting early would be good.

                                  Good luck to you and your husband

                                  dian

                                  Loading spinner
                                  dian in spokane
                                  Participant

                                    you might try to get that appointment ahead of time. Sometimes it's difficult to get a timely appt with a derm these days, so starting early would be good.

                                    Good luck to you and your husband

                                    dian

                                    Loading spinner
                                  workingabroad
                                  Participant

                                    Thank you, everyone, for your replies.  I didn't realize that the site could still be biopsied if the original mole is gone, so that information is very helpful.  My husband initially thought I was over-reacting, but I think I've convinced him now to have it re-excised.  We have a trip home in October, and we've decided to have it done there.  We're working in the Arab Gulf region (would rather not say which country), and in general the health care system here is very good.  We've lived here for 4 years and never had a problem. They don't see much melanoma, though, so it's hard to find a doctor who has experience with this beast.  So he'll have it checked out when we're home.

                                    Linda/Kentucky, your experience is my worst fear, and I'm so sorry to hear of this pain that you're going through.  It was primarily your story that convinced my husband to agree to the re-excision, so please know that others are learning from you.  I don't know if that's any comfort to you, but I do thank you for sharing.

                                    Loading spinner
                                Viewing 11 reply threads
                                • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
                                About the MRF Patient Forum

                                The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

                                The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.