We understand that people with cancer are worried about coronavirus. Here is the latest guidance. We will update it regularly.

Ask a nurse

Do you have a question about cancer? One of our Cancer Information Nurse Specialists will aim to respond within 2 working days.

Melanoma

Plonker
Posted by

Hello

irs been mentioned on the forum that once a suspicious mole has been removed, it can’t do anymore damage however, can I just ask please, what it might have left behind could be doing further damage? Is this correct please? Just because the mole has gone, doesn’t mean to say if cancer cells were left behind, they would not be multiplying. The reason I ask is that we are waiting biopsy results for Melanoma which we have been told will take 4 to 6 weeks and then if it is melanoma, it’s a further wait for the next surgery. This means it could be months with cancer cells multiplying. This is how I see it. Would you be able to explain please? 

Thank you.

terrified and incredibly anxious. Why do biopsy results take so long?

Mandy - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi ,

Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community. I noticed from your activity you have joined the melanoma group, I hope you are finding it supportive.

Waiting on results can be a worrying time and it’s only natural to question if the cancer can grow in that space of time. It would be very rare for a cancer to divide rapidly in weeks.

If the biopsy confirms a melanoma, you may need further surgery if the sample shows cancer cells on the edge of the biopsy.

Biopsy results take can take up to 6 weeks as a pathologist needs to look at the cells under a microscope and then report the results to the dermatologist. Your dermatologist will then need to have a multi-disciplinary team meeting to discuss treatment options.

I hope this information helps, please get back in touch if you have further questions.

Best wishes,

Mandy (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist).