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Dodgy mole - very worried

(77 Posts)
Thomasina76 Tue 06-Dec-16 17:49:24

I had an unusual looking mole on my arm. Not sure how long it had been there (maybe a year or longer or may always have been there but only just noticed it!) but the shape was irregular and was two different colours and looked different to other moles so I went to see my GP. She took a look and said she thought it was ok but would refer me to dermatologist to check. Saw dermatologist today and got it removed and sent for biopsy. One of the drs I saw said he couldn't say if it was cancerous until the biopsy but the surgeon who removed it was very reassuring and said not to worry. He didn't think it was cancerous but just an unusual looking mole. He said even if it was then worse case would be they would just have to excise a bit more skin around the area as mole was very flat/shallow. He said not to worry and to assume I have been treated but I've just googled it and am now terrified. There seems at least a chance I could have skin cancer. So scared. Has anyone had similar scenarios that have turned out ok?

TrainsCanComeTrue Tue 06-Dec-16 17:52:57

flowers for you. I've had moles looked at frequently and have been told many times that it's less about the shape of it etc, but more if it has changed significantly. They have likely taken it off as a precaution.

It's good news that that are testing it to be sure, I've two friends who've had cancerous moles removed, been treated and had absolutely no problems afterwards.

You have done the best thing by seeking help, it seems even if it is bad news it's very treatable if caught early.

Thomasina76 Wed 07-Dec-16 12:28:02

Thanks Trains, that's comforting but still very worried. Can't sleep or get the thought of it out of my head. I had two friends diagnosed with canceer in the last few years, one died, and can't help feeling it's my turn.

TrainsCanComeTrue Wed 07-Dec-16 12:34:31

Do you know when the results come back? It's a horrible feeling having to wait. Try to distract yourself and carry on as much as possible. brewcake

JustPoppingBy Wed 07-Dec-16 12:43:06

I had exactly the same two months ago.
I had a small procedure that lasted 20mins to remove it. Waited 4weeks but never heard anything, chased up, went for a 5 minute consultation to discuss. It was skin cancer but all cleared away and nothing to worry about. Phew.
Several consultants have said, "if you're going to get cancer, this is the 'best ' type to get" sounds blasé but that's due to it being easily removed and not spreading etc.
It's difficult not to worry but hopefully you have nothing to worry about. flowers

Thomasina76 Wed 07-Dec-16 13:01:20

Thanks JustPopping. May I ask what your mole looked like? Was something obviously wrong? Is it possible to have a suspicious looking mole that turns out to not be cancer? Glad yours turned out ok. Were you offered lots of reassurances about it not coming back?

Trains, one dr said the results will take 3-4 weeks; the other dr said 2-3. So that's Christmas ruined. Just wish I had thought about it beforehand and gone private so I could have got results quicker. Very hard to put this out of my mind.

TrainsCanComeTrue Wed 07-Dec-16 13:12:56

I'd be reassured by the fact your GP thought it looked ok, it really does sound like they referred you as a precaution.

Might be worth chasing and seeing if you can get a firm date for results? Although not sure if possible.

Another thought - if they aren't worried about the results taking that long that's probably a good thing, if they were worried they'd be rushing them back!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 07-Dec-16 13:19:33

When I went to the GP with my dodgy Mole he sucked his teeth, told me it looked dodgy and sent me for an emergency referral. The dermatologist sucked her teeth too and cut it out then and there, and told me it was probably a melanoma. It was, I had some more chopped out and now after a year I have been signed off. I have a couple of other irregular two-tone moles and dermatologist is perfectly happy with them.

So it is fairly easy I think do a dermatologist to determine a cancerous Mole by sight - if they aren't worried I don't think you should be either. If itnis something they will probably have got the lot out with the biopsy.

viques Wed 07-Dec-16 13:27:58

Thomasina, please don't let this ruin your Christmas.
IF (note big if because unlikely if none of the Drs who have seen it are worried) your mole turned out to be iffy then you have done the right thing, have had it checked, have had it removed and IF you need any further treatment then you will be dealt with very quickly and probably have nothing more to worry about. so stop worrying.

If on the other hand everything is fine you have nothing else to worry about and can enjoy a mole less Christmas so stop worrying.

rememberthetime Wed 07-Dec-16 13:29:38

Are you aware of all the other risk factors associated with melanoma. fair skin that freckles easily, a family history, exposure to UV rays and sunlight, a large number of moles. You will have higher risk if any of the above affect you.

the vast majority of melanomas and skin cancers grow extremely slowly and you will have noticed any rapid changes. the ones that grow quickly tend to do all their work below the surface of the skin and you won't notice it. So the fact you have noticed a strange mole is a good thing.

I literally have hundreds of moles all over my body due to a childhood in NZ. My dermatologist told me that I was a higher risk - but none of my moles are dangerous at this point.

Skin cancers are by far the easiest to treat if caught early enough. And the vast majority turn out to be nothing at all. being vigilant is a good thing and you have done the right thing.

Stay out of the sun, cover your skin, use sunscreen and avoid getting sunburnt at all costs. ten minutes a day int he sun is enough to give you all the vitamin D you need. or take a supplement. Remember that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are also protective.

Hope it works out OK.

ClarkL Wed 07-Dec-16 13:31:32

I am having a tumour on my nose removed on December 23rd! Fully expecting a black eye and due to the size and amount they have to take away a wonky nose.
The problem is the Doctors have no idea if it's a nasty one without a biopsy and they can only get that by taking a sample, for the majority of these things it is far easier to remove the whole thing in one go than take a little bit, see if it's a problem and then get you back in for more to be removed.

There is no way me telling you not to worry will stop you worrying, but you can tell yourself:
You've gone to your GP
The doctors are the best people to treat this and they are taking precautionary measures whilst investigating
Skin cancer if caught early is treatable

In my family 7 people have been diagnosed with cancer. Odds say 1 in 3 people will be affected by cancer in their lifetime.
Only one person in my family has passed away because of cancer. He chose not to continue with treatment as he wanted to enjoy his last few months without the ill effects of some of the more intense treatments.
Scientists are doing fantastic things thanks to the amazing research done and is still being done. Try and have hope, we are all as a nation standing up to cancer - we will beat it, and if it is cancer, everything will be done to beat it

JustPoppingBy Wed 07-Dec-16 13:54:00

Mine was a small reddish skin imperfection that ended up getting a little bigger (over 5 yrs) becoming a bit puffy and about 1cm wide. I just randomly decided to get it checked mostly as it had become more noticeable.
Removed ones can't 'come back' as it were, but I do need to keep an eye out for anything if I'm ever worried.
Yes it's more likely there's nothing wrong, several family members have also recently had things checked after mine but all nothing to worry about.

Thomasina76 Wed 07-Dec-16 14:02:05

Thanks all. ClarkL, good luck with your biopsy. I hope it turns out ok.

It'sallgoingtobefine - that sounds scary. Hope you had support and glad it is all resolved. I just worry about living with the threat of cancer and never being able to relax in case it comes back.

Trains - I called my GP and she said there is no way of knowing when the results will be back. She said they'll call me if bad news. Great.

In terms of risk factors, I have blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin although not extremely fair. I do tan but have definitely been sunburnt at least a few times in my life (who hasn't?). So I must be at increased risk.

Thomasina76 Wed 07-Dec-16 14:05:05

Am I right in thinking that a cancerous mole is actually the tumour itself, i.e. where the cells are mutating?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 07-Dec-16 14:10:55

Yes, the Mole itself becomes cancerous, and may begin to grow a root (at least with melanoma)

I'm not worried about it so it back - it was all taken out. My highest risk is another mole turning cancerous so I need to keep an eye open, buts it's really not a big deal.

Soon2bC Wed 07-Dec-16 14:16:34

ClarkL - good luck on 23rd. my mum had the same, she had a large cancer under the skin with a small white mole on her nose. they took it all away including quite a large part of skin and gave her plastic surgery all in quite a short operation and within weeks you wouldnt know it was done unless you knew to look for it.

Pythonesque Wed 07-Dec-16 14:40:53

OP, with melanomas the best way to assess the risk that they will spread beyond what can be seen, is their thickness - so the surgeon describing it as very flat is a direct reassurance that if it turns out your mole WAS cancerous, it is firmly in the fully removed low risk category.

Fingers crossed for reassuring news when the pathology results are back.

JustPoppingBy Wed 07-Dec-16 15:03:52

Don't rely on being contacted if it is dodgy, I was told that but I had to chase up myself after 4 weeks.

Thomasina76 Wed 07-Dec-16 15:45:16

Thanks Pythonesque (great name!), that's reassuring. I am still praying it comes back as non-cancerous though.

JustPopping, I will be sure to chase up, don't worry. Think I will try calling my GP towards the end of next week to see if they have the results. I had a dodgy smear test a few years ago and got the results very quickly although maybe this biopsy is a bit more involved.

Also, the wound is really hurting and feels quite hot/stingy. Assume this is normal?

Thomasina76 Wed 07-Dec-16 15:56:49

Massive reminder never to take good health for granted.

ClarkL Wed 07-Dec-16 16:51:42

Soon2be. Thank you that is reassuring - I hadnt considered the NHS doing any cosmetic rectification and have started putting pennies aside for private cosmetic well as buying a house and Christmas, so not many pennies are set aside so far. As awful as this sounds I am far more concerned by the visible effects that what it could be... if it's the type the doctor believes (appendageal tumor) then theres a high chance of it being benign but prone to growing back. So everytime it gets too big (it's starting to affect my eye sight) then it will be removed, so corrective surgery after may not really work, I'll just get more and more lop sided!

Bexicle22 Thu 08-Dec-16 17:09:27

Not read all the replies but thought I would add my experience. I happened to notice a mole on my back in December 2014 that I hadn't seen before. Took me 2 months to get myself to the dr and they referred me to a dermatologist. I eventually had the mole removed in the November. I then heard nothing until May the next year when a woman from the clinic called and told me that the specialists had been at a meeting and agreed that the mole was melanoma but then they'd changed their minds and decided actually it was just borderline and so I had to go back and have the rest removed. I've since had a check up on all my moles (I have a lot) and have been given the all clear. I suffer badly with health anxiety and cancer is my biggest anxiety. I do worry that what's going on underneath the skin is much more sinister than what you see above but I suppose all I can do is believe the specialists when they tell me I'm okay. I did request however to be kept on their books so that if I ever have a concern with any other moles, I can be seen by a dermatologist straight away. Hope you get positive results, I'm sure you will! I know it's hard but try not to worry yourself too much. And if you can, chase up your results smile good luck

Thomasina76 Fri 09-Dec-16 09:39:40

Thanks for sharing Bexicle. Scary but glad it got sorted. I have calmed down a bit since Wednesday (mainly because I stopped googling!), trying to think that melanoma is still quite rare so hopefully it was just a mole and nothing else. I can't really think beyond that at the moment but trying to keep in mind that, worse case, it is melanoma, then it is easily stopped/treatable.

Thomasina76 Thu 22-Dec-16 10:49:17

Hi All. Just checking in. It's now 2.5 weeks since the exicion biopsy and not heard anything despite chasing GP for results every other day. Just wish I could hear before Christmas but looks unlikely now. Is there anything to be said for thinking that if it was bad they would have contacted me by now?

hp2 Thu 22-Dec-16 10:53:27

I had one that was flat but two colours and getting bigger just about the size of the end of a pencil. It grew nearly 5mm from referral to being seen. Dermatologist thought it looked OK with his dermascope but said it might be getting ready to do something! It was removed histology results two weeks late all fine. Hope this helps.

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