Wilma is a skin cancer specialist nurse, here to answer your questions about different...
Hi all, thanks for having me.
We're currently waiting for a consultant appointment next week as GP and myself are concerned nearly 4yo could have melanoma. I know its extremely rare in children so I'd love to know if there's anyone out there who can shed some light on the diagnostic tests and general process going forward.
I has a suspicious mole on the sole of my foot removed last year and thankfully it was nothing to worry about so I am somewhat familiar with the various terms.
Hi scaredmum90 and welcome to the melanoma group
I've used the search facility in this group and only found a few people in the past discussing melanoma in children. Of these only one came back to say what the outcome was and, thankfully, the mole didn't turn out to be melanoma.
As you said in New to the Community there isn't much online about pediatric melanoma but I have found this for you.
The process for diagnosis will be exactly the same as the process you had when your mole was checked. Your child's mole will be examined by the consultant who may use a dermatoscope to get a better look at it. If this was used when you were examined you'll know that it's effectively a powerful magnifying glass.
The consultant may decide to take photos and ask for your child to come back in a few months to see if the mole has changed if they're not sure if it's melanoma. If they think that it might be melanoma then the mole will be removed and sent off to be examined by a pathologist.
Let us know how you get on next week.
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Thank you for being so attentive - you're right there's not a lot out there. I'm hopeful it's nothing to worry about but will definetely update incase someone else finds themself in my position in future and has questions about what to expect.
Good luck with your little one. Really hope for the outcome you want.
I feel that melanoma on the whole is quite vague, you do any sort of research and it’s like rereading what you read on the previous website. If only it more awareness.
I agree, so many sites have almost the same info word for word and it doesn't go anywhere near as in-depth as I'd like. I think it's just in my nature to need to soak up as much information as possible so not being able to do that is very frustrating.
Anyway we see the consultant tomorrow afternoon so hopefully it goes well!
Evening all. Consultant was very thorough and quite good with my daughter.
She examined the mole in question, took some photos, family history and an inventory of other moles and freckles.
Happily I found two photos from 6months ago where you could see the mole was quite different to how it presented today.
Dr wants it removed asap and encouraged us to return to private clinic if possible, to discuss further with herself and mainly to see her colleague - plastic surgeon who would be doing the surgery on NHS.
We of course do have the option to go straight back to NHS now but she was saying that we would have a surgical consult within 4 weeks and then get a date for said surgery and she felt that was too long and wouldn't advise it.
Theplanned return before going back to NHS seems to be the best way to speed it up without paying for the actual surgery which I definitely cannot afford / bring myself to allow my mum to pay for.
So yes. The first date we can see both consultant derm and plastic surgeon is 2 weeks. Then we see how it goes. V scared of the prospect of general anesthesia but it's the only option.
No idea if skipping biopsy in favour of WLE is a good thing or a bad thing or just common with children.
V much looking forward to seeing Dr Again in 2 weeks and having the opportunity to ask all these questions that are surfacing now the shock has worn off.
Hi scaredmum90, I’m glad that things seem to be moving fairly quickly for you and your daughter. I was thinking that you are doing pretty well yourself posting in the ask a nurse and joining all the relevant groups on here.
Im not sure what you mean by skipping a biopsy, as with potential melanomas removing the mole is the biopsy, they would never take just part of it away to test, the whole melanoma would go. But as you have asked the nurse I am sure her explanation to you about excisions, WLEs and SLNB will be much better than us patients could give, you could also use the Macmillan support line to talk things through with a nurse, as it sounds like as you are not in the NHS system yet you might not have one. You could therefore clarify your understanding in conversation and work out what questions you need to ask with the help of the support line. Just a thought.
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Ah thank you okay I've read up on it now and I'm on the right page haha
I remember at 9 months old my youngest who is now 29 had general anaesthetic (not melanoma but for on an abscess on her neck) and the next week we did it all again with the other side. The nurses and the surgical team were great.
I hope you get all the answers and support you need here and locally, for the op and going forward for staying safe in the sun.
I'm glad to hear that you were pleased with how thorough the consultant was with your daughter.
I think that something might have got lost in translation regarding what is happening with your daughter's procedure. After the mole has been removed it would be sent off to the path labs for a biopsy to see if it is melanoma or not and, if it is, how deep it is. With adults, if it is found to be melanoma, a WLE is done to make sure that no cells have been left behind. Maybe, with children a larger than normal excision is done so that they don't have to have a second operation.
I see that you have also asked this question in ask a nurse so it will be interesting to see what she says.
Wishing you and your daughter all the best
Thanks latchbrook I got a bit muddled. I think I was just blinded by the shock of it all and had zero wherewithal to ask questions. I've now made a list and will be armed with that for the 26th.
I'm glad you had a good experience
To be honest so far parents in a similar position are like a needle in a haystack and friends are either blase to try and reassure me which makes me feel unheard or they're very concerned which makes me panic.
So yeah, bit lost but i'm sure it'll all work out.
Dermatologist phoned on Friday morning, asked us to come in that day to meet herself and plastic surgeon who would be doing the surgery on NHS.
Daughter was extremely distressed and wouldn't let PS have much of a look but he saw enough. Was in agreement it's a 'red flag' issue and phoned his secretary to book in immediately. We're expecting a letter in the next 10 days. She'll need a general anesthetic and it will be a simple removal with hopefully paper stitches.
Following pathology report we will see if WLE is required.
Sorry to hear how distressed your daughter was scaredmum90. It must all be very frightening for her.
It's good that you'll soon have the date for her operation though as the waiting around is always a very worrying time.
Hi scaredmum90 so sorry you and your daughter find yourself here. It’s terrifying as an adult so can hardly comprehend what it must be like for your little one. Can you do lots and lots of role play with her about what is to come? It might help a little. Also your hospital should have play therapists which should be able to help. Alternatively I found the iPad and/or a new toy unveiled just before the appointment helped my son who was in hospital recently.
Can I ask where your daughters mole is and what took you to get it checked out? My son has a cluster of three moles on his scalp and I took him to the doctors to check them but the nurse was very dismissive and wouldn’t even give me a dermatology referral! I was really angry, considering I’ve had melanoma I expected them to give me a referral just for my peace of Mind! Xx
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