Waiting for mole biopsy results - I'm very afraid


I'm 29, male, currently 3 weeks into a possible 8 week wait for my biopsy results. I'm very scared. :(

I just don't know how I'll get through the next 5 weeks of not knowing. I've already cried multiple times, not able to focus on work, increased health anxiety has happened as well.

For context, I had a weird mole on my shoulder that I spotted two years ago. Doctors weren't able to see me so I sent in a picture. They said it looked fine. During an unrelated f2f appointment at my GP, she noticed that same mole and said, "how long have you had this?" and long story short, she was concerned enough to get me referred for an urgent biopsy.

I'm panicking that it was dodgy 2 years ago, but because doctors weren't doing f2f appointments, the picture didn't do it justice. So now it's just been left doing god knows what for all that time!

The NHS dermatologist wasn't helpful either. He just looked at it once and said, "yeah that needs to come off." Though the nurses that removed it two weeks later were very friendly and reassuring.

Are other people facing such a long wait? How have you coped please? I don't see how I can possibly make it, and then, I don't know how I can cope with possible bad results.

  • Try not to let your worries and anxieties take you over. The results might be nothing at all and then you’ll have spent weeks worrying for nothing! 

  • Thank you, Adele. I'm trying to distract myself as much as possible but it's pretty horrendous.  Hope you're OK too. Noticed the dog in your profile picture which made me smile! Dogs always cheer me up haha.

  • The waiting is always the worst bit but I found that the more things I could do that I enjoyed the better it was for me. I'm a cyclist so I went cycling virtually everyday for hours and hours to take my mind off the anxiety. Worked for me except I was exhausted and fell asleep afterwards. That was also good. Sincerely hope that the results are favourable for you. Good luck and best wishes. 

  • Im in a similar position to you. Mine was on my lower leg and I too have had it longer than I care to admit. GP did an urgent referral... which actually took 2 months. Derm was v concerned as soon as they saw it and it was removed nearly 4 weeks ago. Hospital is telling me the wait for biopsy results is 5 to 6 weeks (little less than you). What was interesting is the dermatologist who removed my mole said to me, "its lucky you didnt come in in the middle of covid as most GPs were not even referring at that point". Bit different to you but made me feel better about not going to the GP sooner.  

    But im literally falling apart with anxiety and worry. I've got some other issues going on at the same time but if you are struggling to cope/function, as I have been - its worth having a chat with your GP as they can help. 

  • Thanks Lynskey, I'm trying to live as normal a life as possible while I wait. I do things I enjoy. Yesterday afternoon I walked up to the duck pond and sat reading my book - which was nice! The hardest bit is working since it requires a lot of focus I just don't have currently. 

  • Ahh, I'm sorry. It's so tough isn't it? At least you're coming up to the 5-6 weeks now so your results are likely to be around the corner. I hope everything is OK. I'll share with you some things of reassurance I've managed to find in case it helps you somewhat with the wait as it has for me slightly:

    1) The majority of biopsied moles come back as benign (something like 70%-90%). All of these moles that came back as benign would have looked suspicious to the dermatologist as well, hence why they were removed!

    2) Suspicious looking moles can be funny looking, even change over time, and still be totally benign. They can change sometimes for hormonal, ageing, or tanning reasons. Other times for no obvious reason; these ones are known as atypical or dysplastic. Dysplastic moles are benign but at a slightly higher risk of becoming cancerous in the future - they're also really hard to distinguish from melanoma, so they end up getting biopsied a lot of the time so the dermatologist can be certain. Dysplastic moles can change over long periods of time. So just because there's a funny looking mole that changes... it could just be dysplastic (which isn't actually that bad, alternatives considered)!

    3) I've read stories from people who waited a long time (more than 1year), who were still in the very early (and treatable) stages when diagnosed. So don't kick yourself for waiting too long. I do the same thing. But it doesn't necessarily mean anything. Absolute worst case? Treatments have come along leaps and bounds for melanoma in the past few years. The odds are in your favour.

    Obviously the above is no guarantee of anything but whenever I'm feeling really worried I remind myself of those three things as it just helps me to put things into perspective. Hopefully it's some small comfort for you while you wait as well. 

    My advice is also not to google. My GP explained to me that everyone's body has their own blueprint, and what might be normal for my body, might not be normal for others. If you google, you inevitably end up comparing yourself to the cases or pictures of other people - which just... isn't scientific. I hope this makes sense and I don't sound like a crazy person haha.

    Best of luck with your results - please let us know how they go for you! I'm here if you want someone to talk to about things as well. Slight smile

  • Yeah, it really is tough, but thank you for that, it's certainly is a good way to look at things. I've definitely been guilty of googling too much and its not done my nerves much good. 

    I'll have my fingers crossed for you that when you finally get your results (which are hopefully less than the full 8 weeks), its good news for you. Likewise, if you want to talk, please do reach out. Take care!