Question- awaiting investigation


So a summary of what has happened so far for context-

I went to the GP for a bothersome mole. Overall not worried but it's been causing lots of problems and the gp didn't seem too worried but referred to dermatology as routine. As the waiting lists are years long I got sent to medical illustration for pictures of my mole as a triage service and told I would hear within 2-3 weeks the results. I then got an appointment to see a Dermatologist face to face in 4 weeks time only 1 week post dermoscopy pictures. It seems according to the Health Board website that the only face to face Dermatology appointments happening are suspected cancer appointments. Bit of a surprise as I felt it isn't really anything serious- doesn't look like pictures of cancerous moles at all but I guess does have some of the warning signs/ symptoms such as bleeding and itching.

So the question, is dermoscopy pictures really accurate at determining if a mole is highly likely cancer?

Have many people had a mole seem cancerous on dermoscopy and it come back benign on biopsy? 

I know more often then not people get the all clear after biopsy which is a good thought and the only accurate answer is to wait to have it looked at/ biopsied but, just like it is with most everyone else, waiting is hard! 

  • Hi Mushroom

    It doesn't have to look anything like the pictures you see of cancerous moles to be one.  I wish there was more information and emphasis on this.  It took 4 years for what I had sitting on my arm to be taken off as a BCC when it was melanoma.  I was pushed away by GPs and in the end the lesion got to the stage of hurting in the sun and itching.  I thought it was bleeding but I think the tiny satellite bumps around it were weeping fluid.

    As for the dermoscope so loved by my GP, the dermatology 'expert' in the surgery, I was told by a hospital doctor who specialises in looking at moles, has spent months training with experts in Australia and attends overseas conferences that you would have to be a highly skilled and competent consultant to make anything of what was seen of my lesion under a dermoscope.  The dermoscope picked up nothing remotely suspicious with my lesion.

    So my experience is a cancerous mole can look nothing like the pictures and a GP merely looking at my lesion under a dermoscope told her nothing.

    Not sure if this will answer your question but I hope it is good news, the waiting is never easy.

  • Thank you for the response. So essentially it's just dependent on who looked at the pictures then. I guess it's just waiting to see! 

  • I'm afraid it is just a case of waiting to see what comes of it.  You have obviously been seen by medical people who have their wits about them.  I would say that bleeding as in my husband's case and itching as in mine were symptoms that should be taken note of.  You have been taken seriously but until that mole has come off and you have the results you just will not know either way.  No one can foresee, they can only suspect and there are many people who eventually find what they have is not cancerous.

    When my GP finally looked surprised when Efudix cream did not clear up what I had she said she would send me to a dermatologist. I thought she meant someone in a hospital but she meant a doctor running a minor skin complaints clinic in another surgery.  He came up with the idea from, yet again, the use of a dermoscope, that it was a BCC which these melanomas are often mistaken for.  So I took a route over some months to our local hospital where I saw a skin cancer nurse who also said after using a dermoscope that it was a BCC.  I left without even asking when I would get the results as I never thought I would hear from that department again.  So sure was everyone over a period of four years that I had nothing and a dermoscope did not help the diagnosis!!

    Good luck and try to keep your mind off the thought of what it might be from the little you know.