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Melanoma

(128 Posts)
Froomp Fri 20-Sep-19 07:49:04

I was sent to a dermatologist yesterday, about a black line under my toe nail. I expected him to send me on my way reassured it was just one of those things. Instead he has told me I need a biopsy and will get the appointment in the next week or so (cue panic).
The line has been under my toe nail for at least 8/9 months. If this is Melanoma is this going to be too late for effective treatment?
And has anyone had a biopsy and it turned out not to be cancer? The dermatologist said looking at it he was sure it wasn’t blood, which rules out trauma so what else could it be?
I’m in a real state and don’t know how to talk myself down.

Froomp Fri 20-Sep-19 08:09:54

Has anyone ever even heard of this kind of melanoma? I hadn’t.

FrenchFancie Fri 20-Sep-19 09:24:07

I’ve heard of it.
Try not to panic until the biopsy results are in. There are other things that can cause this other than melanoma or trauma.
Even if it is melanoma you have caught it now and it can be dealt with.

Froomp Fri 20-Sep-19 13:32:07

Can it be dealt with though? 8 months is such a long time.
The dermatologist seemed to be hinting that it was going to be melanoma. I don’t if that’s just in my head though. I’m so anxious I keep bursting into tears.

Froomp Fri 20-Sep-19 13:48:01

Can anyone help? I’m so scared. I just don’t think it’s going to be a good news story when I’ve ignored probable cancer for 2/3 of a year.

PurpleDaisies Fri 20-Sep-19 13:52:26

The best thing is to wait for the results of the biopsy. It’s awful waiting but there isn’t really anyone can say right now while you’re waiting to find out what’s happening. It’s so hard. Who have you got in real life that can give you a big hug?

flowers

Froomp Fri 20-Sep-19 13:57:26

No my DH keeps telling me I’m being ridiculous and that’s it not cancer. But the Dermatologist is convinced enough to biopsy it and as I said at my appointment he seemed to be saying that’s what it was, without outright saying it.

All I can think about is that I’m going to die and leave my children. I can’t stop crying. I can’t eat. I don’t want to die. (3 people in my close family have died from cancer).

PurpleDaisies Fri 20-Sep-19 14:00:36

But the Dermatologist is convinced enough to biopsy it

Honestly, that’s not how it works. Yes, that sort of thing can be melanoma but it isn’t always. The standard way to identify what an unknown mole is is to biopsy it.

You do need to prepare for the news that it is a melanoma, but it isn’t in any way a certainty.

INeedNewShoes Fri 20-Sep-19 14:08:03

I think they will biopsy anything where they're not entirely sure what it is and biopsies are always done within two weeks. Just because they're not sure what it is it really doesn't mean it's nasty.

I had a funny growth on my forehead biopsied because it didn't slot neatly into any of the usual categories for these things. It was fine.

I know it's easy for me to say but it is far too early for you to panic about this.

cheeseismydownfall Fri 20-Sep-19 14:41:15

I had a mole on my leg which I realised had been looking odd for a quite a while. When I googled I realised that it was absolutely textbook melanoma. I went straight to my doctor who took one look at it and booked me in for a biopsy the very next day. So needless to say I was shit scared. Likewise the practitioner who performed the biopsy, although they didn't say it explicitly, clearly thought it was malignant. The results came back a week later completely clear. So try not to panic yet, although I know how scary it it. Best of luck.

marvellousnightforamooncup Fri 20-Sep-19 14:43:18

They biopsy everything. Don't worry until you know what you're dealing with.

Froomp Sat 21-Sep-19 10:08:25

The thing is I have a gut feeling that it’s cancer. I have this black line across my toe that isn’t growing out. The Consultant seemed to be preparing me for the fact he thought it was cancer. The waiting is horrible. I feel like I’m waiting for a death sentence and the knowledge I’ve left it 8 months makes me feel sick.
I am prepared to be told it’s melanoma. I just am waiting to find out how bad it is.

WhyBirdStop Sat 21-Sep-19 10:28:36

DH had a BCC cut off this year, he's had our got at least eighteen months, kept saying it was an ingrown hair and picking at it, ignored his wife and finally booked an appointment when his mother noticed it (on a visible part of his body), they took him in, whipped it off, cauterised the wound it healed in two weeks, follow up was clear. He keeps telling people it was just a little skin thing, and I reiterate it was skin cancer. At least he religiously wears suncream now. The doctors seemed pretty unfazed by it all and said pretty much all types of skin cancer are treatable, even the more aggressive ones.

WhyBirdStop Sat 21-Sep-19 10:29:12

*had it for at least 18 months

PurpleDaisies Sat 21-Sep-19 10:37:32

The doctors seemed pretty unfazed by it all and said pretty much all types of skin cancer are treatable, even the more aggressive ones.

That was because he had a bcc. That’s pretty much the most non serious type there is.

fanniboz Sat 21-Sep-19 11:00:45

I'm sorry you're having such a scary time. I've known people to be sent for biopsy and they haven't had cancer. They will do a biopsy for anything they don't have a certain answer for, just to be safe. You'll worry yourself sick until the results are in but just try and take it one day at a time. We're all here, keep posting if it helps to voice your thoughts and worries thanks

WhyBirdStop Sat 21-Sep-19 12:17:18

@PurpleDaisies we know that because of the testing done after removal, that was said in his initial consult, and that serious non treatable forms are skin cancer are very very very rare, especially if you don't have any of the high risk indicators

WhyBirdStop Sat 21-Sep-19 12:17:40

*that it was a BCC

RuthW Sat 21-Sep-19 12:31:28

It does sound like cancer I'm sorry to say but 8 months is still quite quick to catch it. Wait tor the results, try not to worry.

Froomp Sat 21-Sep-19 13:20:07

I guess I’m just asking if anyone has had cancer, left it 8 months before getting diagnosed, and been ok?

WhyBirdStop I appreciate your story and I’m glad your DH is ok now. At my initial consultation I got quite a different story from the Dermatologist. Possibly because melanoma is more aggressive. I asked how treatable it would be if it was melanoma and was just told it would depend on a lot of factors. The main one I’m guessing is how far it has spread.

Belleende Sat 21-Sep-19 13:27:49

It is more likely not to be cancer than to be cancer. If it is any comfort there have been recent huge advances in the treatment of melanoma with immunotherapy. Some people even with fairly advanced cancer have effectively been cured.

If it is cancer and it is localised then it can be treated successfully with surgery as well.

The important thing is to get it checked out and go from there.

Good luck

daisypond Sat 21-Sep-19 13:38:46

My DH has twice had malignant melanoma and been treated for it. The second time, the hospital didn’t think it was anything but biopsied it to be on the safe side, and it was. Also had a lymph node biopsy and it hadn’t spread, despite being virtually on top of it. There are lots of drugs nowadays for treatment, so try not to panic.

YeOldeTrout Sat 21-Sep-19 13:41:12

Fact that the line has sat there not changing or producing new symptoms for 8-9 months makes me think it's not acting like a malignant cancer.

runoutofnamechanges Sat 21-Sep-19 14:04:47

We have a family history of melanoma and I've been where you are 3 times and one of my DC has just had a biopsy for the second time that looked like classic melanoma. Every time the biopsy has come back fine.

DC, who is a medic, was far less stressed about it than me. A good doctor will have more biopsies come back negative than positive because it is best to perform a biopsy if there is any possibility it could be cancer. Having a biopsy doesn't mean the dermatologist is sure it is cancer. Just because it isn't blood, doesn't mean it is melanoma, there are other potential causes.

8 months is still quite a short time for diagnosis for subungual melanoma - the average time is over 2 years. People don't seek help because they assume it is a bruised nail. You have done the right thing and got it checked out. Hopefully all will be fine flowers

daisypond Sat 21-Sep-19 14:08:11

Meant to say, the first one was a mole that had begun to change. It was first looked at 7 years ago and was deemed OK then. Second one was a freckle with a black line through it, but because of where it was
he couldn’t see it and didn’t know it was there.

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