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Please Help! Cost of removal of skin cancer?

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Old 05-14-2010, 06:48 AM   #1
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Question Please Help! Cost of removal of skin cancer?

I have a sore that does not heal right above (and now in) my left eyebrow. I've had it approximately 20 years. It used to heal up completely and come and go. Now, it never heals, bleeds easily, and is slowly getting larger. I know I have waited much longer than I should have, but I am getting ready to make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

I was just wondering if anyone has had something like this removed and what your co-pay was. It is an approximately 1/4" small, crater-like lesion. I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO.

Thanks for any comments or advice you can give.


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Old 05-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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Re: Please Help! Cost of removal of skin cancer?

IF it is skin cancer, it doesn't matter the cost of the co-pay. You are talking about your life. From what you describe, IF it is skin cancer, it sounds like it would be Basal Cell. But, only a doctor and a biopsy can tell.

Cost? It can vary, depending on where you live. I live in So Cal, so things are very expensive here. It also depends on whether you use an in-network physician, which I would strongly suggest.

For the doc to take a biopsy, it really isn't much more than what you would pay for an office visit. My co-pay for a visit to my derm is around $6.00 (I also have Blue Shield PPO). If she needs to do a biopsy, my co-pay goes up to around $9.00. But, then there are lab fees for the biopsy. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I don't recall the lab fees as being very expensive for a simply biopsy. I think my co-pay for a lab fee for a simple biopsy was around $20.

Now, if the biopsy reveals skin cancer, then the doc will have to remove more tissue to be sure all the cancer is removed. A lot here depends on how much tissue would have to be removed. Because this is on your face, if there is a large amount of tissue removed, you might reconstructive surgery with a plastic surgeon. With my WLE (I had melanoma and no reconstructive surgery), the insurance said my co-pay was around $100.00. For you, if you need further surgery/reconstructive surgery, I would strongly, strongly suggest you seek an in-network physician. This will keep your co-pay down and to a reasonable amount.

I would say, first things first. See your doctor and see what s/he says. The cost of the biopsy with the insurance you have shouldn't be that much. Then, take things from there. You can always take to your insurance company as well, and see what they say. They usually have set prices for these things.

Good luck!

Old 05-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: Please Help! Cost of removal of skin cancer?

Sounds like maybe basal cell. I had a basal cell removed from my shoulder last summer- I think it was 350.00, but my co-pay was only 25.00. I had it removed by laser. Since it is on your face you may want to do Moh's. I looked into that, but since mine was on my shoulder I opted for the laser. Moh's was a lot more expensive and my insurance covered 80% (I think it was like $4,000.00).

Definitely get it checked out though. It might not even end up being skin cancer, but at least your mind will be at ease.

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