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Worried about biopsy on vulva(70 Posts)
NC for this.
Feeling very anxious as I wait for results of a biopsy, sample taken on Tuesday and follow up appointment to discuss results booked in for two weeks from then.
In the last ~6 months, I’ve developed odd marks on my labia, the only way I can describe them is as blood blisters. There are approximately seven (it’s hard to see!) and they seem to be getting more noticeable and/or bigger and/or more of them. They are itchy and also a bit painful, but it’s more like discomfort or irritation. Some of them seem to be in a line, following a blood vessel.
The GP wasn’t really interested and fobbed me off. Saw a second GP who also rolled her eyes and said it’s “the ends of my capillaries” (wtf? Just appeared out of nowhere?!) but did a general referral to a gynaecologist. The appointment came through for 3 months time. Luckily I have private health insurance, so made arrangements to see a private consultant.
The private doctor confused me as she said it’s “probably nothing sinister” but then said it might be a melanoma. As I said, a biopsy has been taken. Does a biopsy mean she’s thinking about cancer? I’m not really sure.
Obviously, Doctor Google tells me I’m dying of some very rare vulval cancer. It’s all I can think about has anyone experienced anything similar? Would it be unusual for a cancer to present in several marks on the same area? I’m so worried.
There are other things that a biopsy can detect, not just cancer, harmless things, as I have one (it’s white not red so it’s different, but that’s just an example, there are loads of thing that it could be and you want cancer ruled out so it’s good they are testing for everything via biopsy) so try and put it out if your head and stop googling as there is no point in freaking yourself out. Do something relaxing and take your mind off it. All will be well.
I'm sure there's quite a few possibilities that are not cancer. Try not to panic although easier said than done I know.
I know a couple of people who have Lichen Sclerosis which can present as itchy blood blister type things. They both use creams, I think steroids but I'm not sure, to help with the symptoms.
Thank you both. I didn’t know lichen sclerosis could present like this, that’s interesting and reassuring. Just have to wait and see.
I didn’t know that either as that’s what I’ve got! I have the white version that’s like eczema skin. Hurts. Stings like a fecking paper cut! Anyway if it’s that it’s ok. Just annoying. But not dangerous.
AnxiousJ and Elieza
Sorry, posted too soon. I've just googled to check why in some people it's white and others as blood blisters. Apparently when the skin becomes damaged with LS it can lead to some blood vessels breaking which can look like blood blisters.
There's lots of info on LS on the Internet, obviously I'm no expert and it could be something else, but it might be worth reading up on so that if it is that, you will be able to ask some good questions at your biopsy result.
It's good that you have had the biopsy OP and I really hope it's something simple that can be easily treated.
Thanks Mon. From reading into LS, I don’t think it’s likely to be that, there are no white patches at all... obviously I could be wrong. Feel so anxious, hardly sleeping at all and I’ve still got 10 days to wait.
I really feel for you.
I've had a few health problems in the last 5 years, including some gynaecological issues and they've been the worst. I've found so many doctors and even gynaecologists quite unhelpful and it's not a pleasant thing to have to go and be examined multiple times.
Just another thought, there's a thing called angiokeratoma which you can get on the labia/vulva. They definitely look like blood blisters. I got an autoimmune disease a few years ago and read so much about various things due to it and I remember coming across that. The places Google leads you to. 😂 Just googled to make sure I'd remembered right, they're usually harmless and benign.
Try not to worry. Obviously you won't know for definite until you get your results but remember cancer affecting that area is quite rare.
And also, no, a biopsy doesn't mean she thinks it's cancer. They do a biopsy to identify lots of conditions. My consultant knew I had a certain condition (not cancer) by my symptoms, one of them being a skin issue. I had to have a couple of biopsies done on my legs to identify which sub type I had so they knew how to treat it.
I'll shut up now !
Thanks again, Mon. Google does lead you to some strange places! I’ve come across that term before and thought it could be that, however I’m not sure if that would have the itch? Most of the Google articles are about men 🙄
Further Googling further convinced me of cancer...
”The most common symptom associated with vulval cancer is pruritus, which occurs in 80% of patients. Less common symptoms are pain, burning, soreness, bleeding, an ulcer or lump. There may also be colour changes of the affected area. Ninety per cent of all vulval cancers have a visible lesion at the time of first presentation, which may look superficial, or deep and ulcerated, raised, warty, or appear as a firm lump. Metastatic disease presenting as a lump in the groin may also be seen at presentation. Most squamous cell malignancies arise as unilateral lesions on the labia majora, but other primary sites include the labia minora, clitoris or mons pubis. Multifocal lesions occur in 10-30% of cases (Modesitt et al, 1998).”
I noticed lots of the info was about men, maybe it's more common in men or just more noticeable due to anatomy but there's definitely some info about angiokeratoma of the vulva that mentions itching and irritation. I'm sure there could be many other things it could be, I'd never heard of LS or angiokeratomas until a few years ago, there's so many conditions that are not well known. I think especially in that area, people don't talk about symptoms openly which is understandable.
I remember being concerned a few times over the last few years but the explanation for most things is usually something much more treatable than where Google and our anxiety takes us. Our GPs always tell patients to stay away from Doctor Google!
You have done the right thing in having the biopsy, try to keep on top of your anxiety, keep busy if you can. I know it's really hard though.
Thank you, I do need to try and get my anxiety in check. You’ve been very helpful
Anxiety is awful so I sympathise. Do you have anyone in real life that you can talk to? I tend to read a lot of books when I'm feeling anxious/overwhelmed as it just keeps my mind from wondering.
If you feel able, I'd be interested to know how you get on at your next appointment. I shall think of you and really do hope it all turns out well. 💐
I had something similar(ish) a couple of years ago. I had something that was a bit like a skin tag crossed with a blood blister on the outer edge of my labia minora. It changed in size, both getting bigger and smaller, and was itchy and sore at times.
As I had some other gynaecological issues (endometriosis) it was dealt with at the same time - what it was / why it had occurred was never really discussed and it was removed while I was under GA having surgery for the endo. It was sent for a biopsy - the first I knew about this happening was when the results were sent to me through the post (nothing of concern detected).
My point is that our bodies do weird things - most of the time in an annoying but ultimately harmless way, which is probably why patients are often brushed off by overworked GPs rather than reassured or sent for further investigation. Doctors also often struggle to find a balance between reassuringly informing patients and worrying the hell out of them.
I'm not going to tell you to step away from Dr Google and just wait for the results - if I'd been told that they were sending samples for biopsy I would have spent a lot of time on the internet before the results came. However, as a previous poster said, biopsies are done for lots of reasons, not just diagnosing cancer, and any slightly odd tissues that are removed are routinely sent for further investigation.
Please try not to think about it too much while you wait for the results. (Easier said than done!)
Thanks Lego, glad to hear your similar(ish) issue was nothing at all to worry about. I’ll update the thread when I know more... and probably in the meantime when the anxiety gets too much 🙈
Just another thought, if they told you ten days till results they can’t surely be that worried or they would be giving you the results rushed through super quick time. Eg bloods take two weeks in my practice. They got my mum’s back the same day as they were worried she could be seriously ill, which she was, and admitted her. (She’s ok now) So ten days seems like they arent too concerned. So don’t worry any more.
I had a very similar issue. I had a biopsy under sedation, and it was lichen sclerosis. There were no white patches in my case. Please, please try not to jump to the Worst case scenario, I did and I made myself really ill with the worry. Wishing you luck. Lichen sclerosis isn't very nice either but it can be managed. Take care and try not to Google.
I hope this turns out to be nothing sinister OP, for you and because I've noticed a small patch of 3 or 4 blood blisters in the last few months and had dismissed them!
I have had blood blisters on my vulva a couple of times but they went away.
@GothMummy did your LS present as blood blisters? I’m glad it was nothing more serious in your case.
@secretnurse if they’ve been there longer than a month, go and get checked out just in case. Hopefully it’s nothing. The information online says any sore in that area that doesn’t go away within a month should be checked. Having said that, I don’t trust the GPs, I think as it’s so rare, they often dismiss the signs. The first GP I saw suggested I “wait and see” for three months, despite the marks being there for three months already.
I've got a few of these. They developed during and post pregnancy. They follow a vein underneath. I've seen 3 gps at my surgery, one of whom is a gynae expert. They have all said they are absolutely nothing to be concerned about. I went again the other week for more reassurance and to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything, and again it's all fine. It's been years now. My surgery refers for everything too, so I know they wouldn't hesitate.
My thoughts are that you're paying private so they will run all the tests for you. I think they do this in America too.
I hope all is well.
Yours does sound very similar Chup. It’s interesting that they have all said the same to you. Do yours itch or cause any discomfort?
Maybe I should trust the GPs a bit more...
Well they do look alarming, don't they! They do look like cancer! Mine maybe itch sometimes, but maybe just in a general fanny itching way!!! There is definitely no discomfort, but I guess if I fiddled with them?? Now I'm talking about them I feel itchy! The mind is a powerful thing. I do still worry about them but I have to listen to the gp at some point. Perhaps I'll go annually to get it checked out. Please update the thread with your results.
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