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How soon to biopsy suspicious lesion?

kfc1
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

I'm writing to hear anyone's experience on first biopsy of a suspicious lesion.

My brother died 13 months ago of melanoma; 2 years after his diagnosis. His lesion was on his index finger nail bed (he had lost the nail years prior). The dermatologist misdiagnosed it as granuloma and sent him to a hand surgeon who "cauterized" it (burned it basically) for 6 weeks. When it got worse, he amputated the fingertip and was shocked to find melanoma. God knows how the cauterizing may have accelerated the disease likely promoting metastesis. My brother died and was buried on his 60th birthday.

Now my sister, 59 years old, has a suspicious spot on the instep of her foot that her dermatologist looked at 2 days ago. Since it's on her foot and the practice has a podiatrist, they scheduled an excision with the podiatrist on December 29th. In my head, I'm thinking, "why wait? get it off tomorrow if possible. If he's not free, find someone else to do it." The anxiety of waiting would worry me; also the holiday will likely delay the pathology. The results will likely not be available until after the New Year.

My question is, should I let on how worried I am and encourage my sister to find someone else ASAP? Will 3 weeks really make a difference? I know it would for me but should I risk freaking my sister out to get this done now?

Any experience or reassurance would be appreciated. Thanks, Keith

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Dear Keith, I waited too long for removal and biopsy of a mucosal melanoma that I thought was a hemorrhoid; when I talked to my G.I. doc, he scheduled a colonoscopy 6 weeks out, which gave my lesion time to grow and ulcerate. It may be that your sister doesn't want to deal with this during the holidays, but, it could be the difference between a stage 0 or 1, or it could give it time to spread deeper, and then, she's facing a much tougher battle.I don't want to alarm you, I just know from my experience that I shouldn't have waited.If it turns out to be a benign lesion, no harm done in getting it biopsied earlier, but if it is a melanoma , it could mean a huge difference in treatments and outcome.My form of melanoma has a genetic component, which makes me feel your family could have the same kind of situation( i'm not a doc, and I don't know, but, I want the best for you and your sis).Encouraging your sister to go sooner just tells her how much you love and value her.Good luck to you and your family, you're in my thoughts and prayers, Hollyberry

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