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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!

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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.

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      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.

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      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

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      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

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      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.

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        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

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        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

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      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.

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