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To think this could be very serious?

127 replies

RichPetunia · 08/09/2022 20:43

This growth has appeared on the side of my mum’s face, very suddenly. The doctor thinks it’s shingles. I think it’s not and could be something more sinister. Any opinions please?

To think this could be very serious?
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

mumda · 09/09/2022 00:01

Telephone appointment?


IncessantNameChanger · 09/09/2022 00:04

I think I'd start by being very certain when your mum saw the gp and what the gp said. My mum is 76 and she told my sister that the gp could do nothing for her multiple falls during covid. It turns out mum hadn't seen the gp since covid started!

Maybe she went two weeks ago and it looked better? Idk but it seems to me that my mum's generation don't like to waste anyones time. So in my mum's case the gps insistence everything was OK was based on, well nothing. I'd start there. There is nothing wrong with my mums mental capacity btw. But her idea of 'the gp isn't worried' and my idea are very different.

If this what the gp said its OK to get a second opinion, which I would if its getting worse. Better safe than sorry.


MissLucyEyelesbarrow · 09/09/2022 00:14

tiredwardsister · 08/09/2022 23:41

I’m not going to bore you with how I know this but you’ll just have to accept what Im saying is true. I’m not saying they won’t see you in two weeks but they cannot possibly see all possible cancerous lesions referred to them in 2 weeks there simply are enough dermatologist in the UK to do this. So yes the GP makes the referral and may state it’s urgent but as most GPs only have a day of dermatology training in their entire career (if your lucky) a dermatologist will then look at the referral and hopefully a good clear photo of said lesion and decide how “urgent” it needs to be. Many skin lesions are cancerous but will not spread anywhere so these do not need to be seen under the two week rule. Others are more serious but again can wait more than two weeks because they do not spread that quickly. Possible melanomas are hopefully seen within two weeks of the referral being made.

Like most ward sisters, tired or otherwise, you clearly know very little about how general practice operates.

The 2 week referral pathway works in exactly the same way for dermatology as for any other speciality. The whole point of 2 week referral pathway is that certain, high-risk symptoms are prioritised. No speciality accepts lower risk referrals via 2 week pathways. That is true of every single 2 week pathway, not just dermatology.

You're also ill-informed about doctors' training. All doctors undergo extensive training on the skin as an organ, starting in year one of medical school, with the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the skin. By the time they qualify, many months of training, cumulatively, will have been spent on issues relating to the skin - not just purely dermatological conditions, but the many other pathologies that can have skin-based manifestations.

GPs undergo further training as part of their GP rotations. Some of them actually spend months working for a dermatologist, and all of them spend a lot of time learning about skin disease in general practice.

After qualifying as GPs after a minimum of 10 years training, many of them go on to do additional post-graduate qualifications in dermatology. As well as running specialist clinics in general practice, many of them are employed by hospitals to work in outpatient clinics too.

The evidence is that GPs are as accurate as diagnosing skin cancers as dermatologists - this is a link to an Australian study (many GPs in Australia are UK-trained), and the findings have been reproduced in the UK and other countries.


User57327259 · 09/09/2022 00:17

I had shingles recently and it did not look anything like that.
Time to over rule GP and take DM to A&E or OOO.


GirlInTheMirror27 · 09/09/2022 00:17

Get that checked out definitely and with the symptoms you have mentioned, I'd be pushing for an appointment.


Isausernameavailable · 09/09/2022 00:27

I think if you are more medically aware and qualified than the doctor who diagnosed then make a fuss.


IncessantNameChanger · 09/09/2022 00:55

Isausernameavailable · 09/09/2022 00:27

I think if you are more medically aware and qualified than the doctor who diagnosed then make a fuss.

But that's simply not true. Have your never met any trained and qualified person who got something wrong?

There is nothing wrong with challenging authority if its respectful. My own gp was telling me how he is seldom wrong and I had point out he is only human and I had been misdiagnosed multiple times by multiple gps at his surgery when I thought I had sleep apnea. Six years after my crushing fatigue was first reported to my gp, a totally separate health professional refered me and do you know what? I have sleep apnea.

My sons senco and head teacher told me there was nothing wrong with my son dispite NHS diagnosis of dyspraxia. What would you say to that highly qualified professional? I bow to your post grad as it trumps my Bsc? The HT vastly trumps my educational status, but he was still plain wrong


Chargingup · 09/09/2022 01:20

@User57327259 this is neither an accident or an emergency so this is stupid advice for


User57327259 · 09/09/2022 01:31

@Chargingup the DM should be seen by someone and if it was my DM or other relative I would want them seen ASAP and not nipping about whose task it is to see the lady


onlylarkin · 09/09/2022 01:48

Please get a second opinion! That is not shingles. I wont say it looks like cancer because I am not a doctor, but that is definitely not shingles.


Appleblum · 09/09/2022 01:54

My DH had shingles and it did not look like that at all. There's zero resemblance. Please get your mom to a different gp!


ilovebagpuss · 09/09/2022 07:35

Perhaps I was a little over dramatic and no, i don't have in depth knowledge of all types of shingles and how they present.
However I know from personal experience and recent close contacts of pressure in the system causing more dismissive treatment of late.
Very recently in the news there has been an article about daring to question Dr's and consultants if you feel you need too Even if its just for clarification.
My nephew (4) was recently sent away from hospital 3 times with "gastro" upset and is now an in patient with an infected leaking appendix on antibiotics until they can operate. It may not be the case at all in this instance but there is a lot of moving the queue along going on.


RichPetunia · 10/09/2022 03:48

Dear lovely, lovely, mumsnetters who have replied to my query, thank you. There’s some marvellous advice and I’ve passed this on to my mum. Shall keep you updated.

OP posts:

RichPetunia · 10/09/2022 20:22

Hi just to let you know that my mum is much better as the facial pain has subsided. Looks as though the medication she was prescribed is working and it’s been shingles after all. Thank you all for your advice and suggestions, you are a marvellous lot.

OP posts:

Ragged · 10/09/2022 22:17

Thanks for update, great news that the problem is resolving.


allboysherebutme · 10/09/2022 23:07

Second opinion. X


Isausernameavailable · 10/09/2022 23:31

These Doctors eh, don't know what they are talking about. Best get another opinion and complain though. 🙄


deflatedbirthday · 10/09/2022 23:43

Excellent news OP. It's better to be safe than sorry in these circumstances. On both occasions that I've had shingles I developed a rare complication Ramsey Hunt Syndrome which left me with a facial palsy (temporarily thank goodness!) and effective treatment is required within 72 hours. Of most Drs know what they are doing, but the first time I had it three doctors insisted in had ear infection. Fourth dr and at 70 hours I finally got treatment. I was left with permanent nerve damage around my temple area. This time (only 3 weeks ago) I told the Dr what it was as I recognised the symptoms. The Dr had never seen a case of it but knew what it was, trusted my judgement and issued a prescription.


peridito · 11/09/2022 10:10

That's so interesting @RichPetunia .I was another thinking that I'd never seen shingles look like that .
Can I ask if she also had a rash or was it "just" that one lesion ?
Apologies if you've already answered this question .


LT2 · 11/09/2022 10:27

Great news!

I imagine a lot of posters are feeling silly now.


Poetnojo · 11/09/2022 17:02

Delighted to hear this update


WoodlandMummy · 11/09/2022 17:47

Brilliant update.

My GP misdiagnosed a basal cell carcinoma. He told me it was nothing but I googled it and disagreed. Then got a second opinion. I saw a dermatologist and it was removed and biopsied
three weeks later. GP’s aren’t always right so if you suspect they are wrong, always do your own research. It never hurts to get a second opinion, and may prevent something like ovarian cancer being misdiagnosed as IBS, etc.


RichPetunia · 11/09/2022 21:05

@peridito. Just this one lesion. The difference between Thursday when the pain was awful, to yesterday (mild, and sporadic) is astonishing.

OP posts:

Vinylloving · 11/09/2022 21:09

Do not hesitate to get a second opinion, you know this already but hopefully hearing others immediate reaction I'm agreement will help you overcome any uncertainty. Btw I have no experience of anything like it, but it doesn't look anything like shingles as far as I'm aware


ilovebagpuss · 11/09/2022 22:25

I don't feel silly I don't agree with treating GP's like gods we can't question, I've had too many experiences where they have been wrong. People should be able to freely question and ask for further clarification if they are worried.
This whole attitude of feeling silly or too polite to ask or raise complaint actually kills people.

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