Wilma is a skin cancer specialist nurse, here to answer your questions about different...
I noticed a new mole on my jaw line around 5 years ago! I contacted my doctor and was sent to a specialist! I was advised to keep an eye on it and look for changes! When looking at yourself everyday you just don’t see changes! It wasn’t until I was going through old photographs at the end of August that I realised how big (irregular) the mole had become and the change in colour!
I called my doctor and had an appointment with Dermatology within 7 weeks! 2 weeks after my initial appointment with Dermatology I had an excision lesion (my scar is healing really well) on 4 November 2019. I will receive my results on Wednesday 27 November! I have been feeling very anxious and concerned at how quickly I got my procedure done!
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time xx
Hi Shirlmo and welcome to the online community
I agree that it can be very difficult to notice if something that you see everyday has changed. I don't know how 'moley' a person you are but I have lots so was advised to take photos of the different sections of my body, eg front lower left leg, right upper forearm, etc and use these to compare how I was then to how I am now when I check my skin once a month. This might be something you could do too if you need to.
Normally your GP would refer you under the 'two week rule' to dermatology if s/he was suspicious about a mole. So the fact that you were not fast tracked suggests that the GP wasn't concerned. Having now seen a dermatologist they obviously decided that your mole needed removing and so would schedule you in as soon as possible. Getting the results 3 weeks later is pretty fast as they normally take between 4-6 weeks depending on how busy the path labs are in your area of the country.
Waiting for results is horrible but you only have a few more days to go and hopefully it'll turn out to be benign. However, if it isn't, there's plenty of us here who have had a melanoma removed and can share our experiences of the next stage of treatment with you.
Do come back and let us know how you get on
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Thank you latchback for your reply!
My doctor didn’t even see me - she spoke with me over the phone and I expressed my concerns about the mole! When I saw my Dermatologist on 17 October she told me that there is a 2 year waiting time to see her - she also advised that my appointment was upgraded to “urgent” because of the changes in the size, colour and shape of the mole!
it is however reassuring that I have people like yourself on here to chat about my concerns!
Wow! That's very unusual to have a telephone appointment with a GP about a mole and for them to refer you without even seeing it.
Can I ask if you are in the UK? It's fine if you're not but it's just that I've not heard of anyone being referred to dermatology in this way before or being told that there's a 2 year wait to see a particular dermatologist.
Yeah, I’m in Northern Ireland!
I've even been diagnosed with a chest and throat infection by the receptionist in the past!
Maybe it’s just my doctor’s surgery but when I called to make an appointment to have my stitches out I was told “you’ll be lucky” - I was even giving them 7 days notice!
Sounds like you have an 'interesting' doctor's surgery Shirlmo
All the best for this week's results. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.
So today was results day.....
Confirmed melanoma T1 - need to have more removed! Home with loads of information booklets.
Oh, I'm sorry that your mole has turned out to be melanoma Shirlmo
If you want any information or experiences about what happens next then please just ask. Will you be having a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) as well as a wide local excision (WLE)?
I believe it’s just the wide local excision!
My nurse will be calling through the week for a catch up so I will ask the question.
She said that the WLE would be done under local anaesthetic - I had read somewhere that it would be a general anaesthetic - what’s your experience?
If it's just the WLE then they're usually done under a local anaesthetic. I had a general because I had a SLNB as well.
I need some advice.
My daughter is away at University and I haven’t told her about my diagnosis yet.
Do I wait until she comes home and tell her face to face? My concerns about telling her now is that she has assignments coming up and she’s on placement! I just don’t want her to be worrying about me!
There’s probably no wrong or right way to decide one of my daughters was in Japan (and still is) when I went into hospital and she wasn’t due home for a long time. I needed to name her as a reserve power of attorney, my diagnosis came when it was already in my lymph nodes 4 years ago.
Below are some thoughts that you’ve probably already gone through trying to reach a conclusion.
Will she find out any other way (social media, or from other people) if you don’t tell her ASAP will she be offended ?
would she want to hear as soon as possible ?
Do you need her support now ?
Do you really think that she will worry more being told long distance than when she is with you.
If you need to tell her what can you do or say to make her feel less worried.
If you don’t tell her, will she suspect somethings wrong and imagine something far worse.
Sometimes being told in little bite size bits can be easier and face time can show her that things are ok.
Has she got support if she started to worry.
Are you telling her as a daughter, a good friend, a dependant child, a good support, someone affected by the diagnosis.
Good luck with your decision.
You can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or contact them by email.
Ok, so I bit the bullet and called my daughter tonight!
I didn’t tell her everything! I told her about the WLE - I didn’t mention the “M” word! I really would prefer to tell her face to face!
This way, she knows I need further treatment without me worrying her!
Thank you for your support and advice! I really do appreciate it!
Obviously only you know how your daughter is likely to react when you tell her that you've been diagnosed with melanoma so I can understand your decision in wanting to tell her face to face. However, I'm curious to know how you explained having to have a WLE to her?
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