View Full Version : biopsy = cancer?

02-15-2005, 03:16 PM
The dermotologist had me undergo a biopsy today (it was either a shave or punch bopsy; no stitches) on an irregular looking mole. It was so sudden and quick.

Are these kind of biopsies done because cancer is highly suspected or could this be a 'play it safe' situation?

02-16-2005, 03:05 AM
did the doctor not explain why to you? Only the biopsy will tell. But if a mole is changing and looks at all like anything it is best all around to have them removed. but according to experts on a suspicious mole or anything like that a "shave" is not the way to go. Punch or excisional is the only way to get the full 'thickness' of it.

Most moles prove out to be benign, and that is a good thing, but a very good thing that you are vigilant and so is your dermatologist. I am just surprised that you were not told the reason why he is doing the biopsy.


02-16-2005, 11:18 AM
Hi, BonBe! Thanks for the reply.

Well, she said it was irregular looking, so she wanted to do it.

I dunno, if it were highly suspected of cancer, would they tell you straight out? I feel like they wouldn't. But I guess that's the paranoia in me.

02-16-2005, 11:52 AM
That is a very hard thing to answer. With me (my only real example) I had a huge UGLY mole (and I am not a young spring chicken) it was there for a long time as a regular flat black (missplaced beauty mark) hahah both my family doctor, and the plastic surgeon I was sent to, thought it was just a rather large ugly mole that should come off. NO ONE SUSPECTED the biopsy (excisional with 3 stitches) was done, and in 3 weeks I was given the report, and it is not a good one.

It totally took everyone for a loop....so being vigilant is key here. When in doubt get it checked out, but keep solid on the line of NO PARANOIA! really you can go nuts if you rush about every mole, mark, cute/ugly freckle red dots, blue dots, black dots.... but if they CHANGE that is what needs to be seen. I personally go for 3 month checks to the dermatologist and 3 months checks to the oncologist as my diagnosis was not good.

However, keeping on top of things is important, and it sounds like you are doing that. Results from the biopsy take time to come back and to be read by the doctor.

Hope this helps.
NOT HINDERS YOU PLEASE I am a different case.


02-16-2005, 12:21 PM
You have a really good doctor.
In my case, I had a really cute freckle. I went to a dermatologist once a year and he didn't think I should have it removed... he just kept an eye on it.
Then I went to a different dermatologist, and he decided to take it out. He told me that I knew better on what was normal (if I thought it had grown a little or if the color/shape changed) on what was not. It made sense since it was my body and I saw the moles more often than he did.
The biopsy ended up being in-situ melanoma (melanoma at its early stage), but I still had to have about 1-1/2" round of skin taken out and replaced by a skin graft.
Any way... on my case it was a cute (I am serious) freckle... I just happened to find a good doctor. If I had had it removed before, the results of the biopsy would have been negative, but it would have been a lot better than waiting until it turned into cancer.

I have no family history of skin cancer (going back to 4 generations)… I have dark pigmentation… never sun burnt when I was a child and always use sun block protection.
The freckle was a little irregular in shape, but it had been like that for 3 years.
He told me that when in doubt… it is better to have it checked out.

I am glad your doctor was this proactive with you.

02-16-2005, 12:28 PM
I am the same no family history of skin cancer... male cancers on my fathers side. I just burned, got freckles but had two rather serious blistering burns as a child.

Mine ended up being superficial spreading malignant melanoma (ah it has a name with thickness of 4mm) no lymph node involvment, but then again no SNB was performed either. But going to the cancer hospital every 3 months for 3 years etc and lots (two so far) ct scans and now the derm appt every three months as well..

I am scheduled (when ever) to have two more removed. One which I will also call CUTE looks like the playboy bunny logo only small. It came up suddenly about 5 or 6 inches down from where I had the WLE (that scar is 7 inches long) mid back upper shoulders/neck.

So def....when in doubt get it checked out


02-16-2005, 01:46 PM
I would be glad if my doctor would biopsy a mole upon examination. I hate going in and having them look at it and then having to come back at a later time to have it removed. At least, when you talk to you doctor next, you will have your results instead of waiting a week for an appt. and another week for the results. For me the thinking and speculating is torture.

Try not to worry too much. I've had several suspicious moles removed. Either new and getting larger, itchy etc. and fortunately all came back neg. (Knock on wood for then and for the future). Even my dh who has so many moles it's hard to keep track, has had several removed and so far the worst has been atypical. Thank goodness! But you need to keep on top of it. It's horrible to think about the what ifs. I'm going next week to have one looked at and am already thinking what if. But the one I'm concerned about is very new, so I'm hoping if it's removed I will have caught it in time if it turns out to be anything. I never have had any skin cancers but my sister had melanoma. So I try to be careful for myself and my family.

Good luck.

02-16-2005, 01:55 PM
you know me being an already recognized in the system cancer patient, I would have thought from the derm to the surgeon would be a biospsy appt. After all the surgeon was the one to make the derm appt with the understanding that stuff would come back to him for surgery. (I cannot afford to have the moles removed by dermatology) our govt health insurance doesnt pay unless it is malignant and who the heck wants to have that thought permeating their brain. NOT ME

So I go on the 4th of March to see the surgeon I went to see the derm on 2 of Feb then on the 4 of march I go to surgeon who will schedule a excision then the wait begins once again.... gotta be an easier way.

But yes having it done at the time is great and less of a worry so 'fearful' it is a good thing you are on the ball.

I am learning though!

02-16-2005, 04:41 PM
Well, all I can do it wait now. I suppose you guys are right, it was probably best that the derm did the biopsy.

Thank you all so much for your replies, sharing your stories and helping others (me) this way. Hopefully, I have an update sooner than later.