View Full Version : skin biopsy result time

03-30-2009, 08:36 AM
Hi,:wave: Am new to these boards. Last Wednesday i went to the derm . I had 4 actinic keratoses frozen with the spray liquid nitrogen on my face. These are the first ones i've ever had.
They also did the punch type biopsy on two spots on my back. I was told it would take up to 3 weeks to get the biopsy results!! My family said that if the lab found something unfavorable, they would have called the derm office within a few days.
I'm wondering what opinions some of the readers may have regarding this.
I think about it all the time and wish i could just stop worrying about it.:dizzy:
thanks all! V from the Jersey shore

03-30-2009, 08:44 AM
Hello Bavarian, Do you have a follow up appointment?

You really have to be your own advocate these days. If you do not hear from them in one week call and ask. Also ask for a copy of your pathology reports. They are yours and belong to you. Keep them for your records. Do not assume Doctor's offices do not misplace or overlook reports. It happens all the time. They should out of courtesy call you and let you know all is well.

I had a biopsy done and it took the surgeon 25 days to notify me that I had cancer. She knew she screwed up so instead of picking up the phone she sent me certifed letter I had to sign for....I was way ahead of her and had gotten my results myself and had already seen another Doctor. I would never go back to her ever. So I am a believer in picking up the phone and asking about my results.

Let us know what your results are.


03-30-2009, 08:58 AM
Hi Oleander, Thank you for your reply. I was shocked to read that it had taken sooo long by your former derm! I would have been livid! Good thing that you were "ahead of the game". I hope things turned out well for you and all has healed.
Yes, my follow up is April 22nd..but I'll take your advice and call this Thursday about the biopsy. Thank you! V

03-30-2009, 10:58 AM
Hello and welcome!

It can take quite a bit of time for a biopsy return, unfortunately, depending on the pathology lab and how busy they are. But, as Oleander states, you really do need to be your own advocate.

My doctor called me 2 days after taking the biopsy to inform me of my cancer. (And I sort of knew something was really, really wrong, because we kept playing "phone tag" all day, and the no one in her office would tell me what was up - she insisted on speaking to me directly.) The results of the other biopsies I learned the results within a week, and I ended up having to call. (all were negative)

I wouldn't wait, though. Give it a week, then call. If you make a pest of yourself, they'll want to get the results just to get rid of you, if nothing else!

03-30-2009, 01:57 PM
Hi Chele60! Thanks for your reply and the welcome. I am sorry to hear of the dx that both you and Oleander had heard. It is a scary thing. As many other "beach girls" I grew up in the 60s and hung out on the beach getting fried every summer,then came the tanning beds, i did both. All i cared about was getting that tan and never used a sunscreen. I was a surfer and then a scuba diver. I love the ocean and the sun. Now, i am paying for having been careless.
On Wednesday it will have been a week, so, I'll call them on Thursday. The reason I'm so anxious is that I was born with a strawberrybirthmark, the size of a silver dolllar on my back. When i was only 2 days old, they removed it with radiation. Wednesday they did a biopsy on a part of that spot where it looked like an actinic keratosis had formed. Also another biopsy right near it.. that was my first time to a derm for anything sun related. I also had 4 actinic keratoses frozen on wednesday. I had some on the skin inside of my eyebrows! One on my nose and one on my forehead. They are now crusting over a bit and are the size of a pencil eraser.
Did you have basal cell? Thank you ladies, for the good info! Veronika

03-31-2009, 07:56 AM
No, I did not have Basal Cell. I had a Melanoma on my left knee. (And now I have the lovely scar to forever remind me) My mother had a Basal Cell on her thigh. However, cancer is cancer. You hear that word, and your heart beats just a little faster. I don't care if melanoma is deadlier or basal cell is more common - it's still cancer! And it ain't supposed to BE THERE!

I do know people who are prone to keratoses do have to be a bit careful and get checked. It doesn't necessarily mean cancer, though. It's just a good idea to have things checked out, and it seems as though your doctor is being pretty thorough. It always pays to be your own advocate!

03-31-2009, 08:19 AM
Yes I grew up on the beach in Southern California.... I had a tan all year round until I was about 35.... I am 55 now. Hawaiian tropic with no sun screen. My poor skin. But I had to have that tan. I still love the sun but am careful now. This is the first year I have seen changes in my skin and it looks terrible. I think it has to do that I am finally starting into the big M late. Boy when the hormones change you start aging.......It really sucks.

But skin cancer can be from other things too. It can be from exposures to radiation, arsenic, pesticides and other things. I have a suspected radiation and arsenic exposure. There is thought to be a genetic link for some.

My dad had 6 melanomas between age 58 to 93.....my brother has had one recently age 58. Luckily all caught early. My Dad also had basal cell and squamous cell and Bowen's disease. My dad was a red head and stayed out of the sun. He is a good indicator you can live a long life with skin cancers if they are caught early.

Always call and ask for a copy of your pathology to be mailed or faxed to you. If you go on the Gynelogical cancer boards here you will read stories about Doctors never calling with results of bad Paps..... you hear it over and over. So watch out for yourself and keep track of your tests.

I am very careful what I put on my skin these days...


04-14-2009, 11:42 AM
Thanks ladies! Yes, I called them today and both biopsies from my back are basal cell. I will have surgery May 15th for one 7 May 27th for the other.

04-14-2009, 03:56 PM
Let us know how your surgery goes and what the recommendation is.....

Good thing you got it checked out............Oleander:wave:

04-15-2009, 08:55 AM
Hey there Chele60, I hope you had a 100% cure on your knee. Do you get body checks once every 6 mo or once a year? I'm sure i will be from now on. My 5 actic keratoses scabs have finally fallen off on my face and now they are red round spots/scars. Am using vit e from a 1000 vit E capsule. I heard mederma is bettter for scars . Hope you have a great weekend... p's' heard those tanning towelettes are pretty good...this will be my first summer without tanning in the sun and/or tanning beds. Have a great weekend V :-)

04-15-2009, 09:08 AM
Hi Oleander! I'm 2 years older than you and pretty much since age 12 "layed out" every summer. I lived in phoenix and denver for many years where there is some strong sun and spent lots of time in hawaii as my former in laws lived there. I've gotten sun poisoning a couple of times too. I was thinking i could lay out still when the rays are weaker like from 4;30 to 6 pm on summer eves, but that's prob not a good idea? Do you stay out of the sun completely now? Also they say that the rays are not bad from 8 to 9 am . i dunno.... I should prolly just use those self- tanning towelete things, wear a hat and use sunscreen all over and not lay out at all. One of the reasons i never used sunscreen was cos i heard it was also bad for your skin..but that was a myth i guess.. you hear so many conflicting things... Have a great weekend!! :-) V

04-15-2009, 09:14 AM
Ok..I will! :-))) p.s. what stuff do you use on your skin now? V

04-16-2009, 08:10 AM
I don't know if I'll ever consider myself 100% cured - I guess it's just the nature of having had a scare with cancer. And also having talked with melanoma survivors who have had recurrances 10, 15, even 20 years after the first one.

Anyway, it's been 2 years, and I have a complete skin check done every 3 months. That will change after 3 years, I think. Then it goes to once every 6 months, and after 5 years I'm to get one annually. However, I perform my own monthly skin check.

It's strange how you adjust your thinking after a bout with skin cancer. The first summer I didn't think I would be able to wear any of the summery outfits without "some color." However, I've since learned to love and appreciate the color of my own skin. It's healthy, it's smooth, and I keep it moisturized. It's me, and I like me. I'm learning which colors compliment my color and not the color I want to be. And it works. I still get an occasional remark about being pale (hey, I live in So Cal!), but usually when I tell them one melanoma scar is enough for one lifetime, it pretty well shuts them up. However, there are some really great products on the market right now to give color without damage. I only wish they had that technology when I was in my teens/20s!!