Find Support

GP or Dermatologist

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

GP or Dermatologist

Posted By
12/2/2019 2:17pm
Replies: 9

Hello everyone,
I have some anxiety about melanoma - I'm someone who fits the description of someone who is at high risk. I see my dermatologist (she is PA at a dermatology office) at least once a year - for skin checks and other non-related skin issues.
I've got an appointment in a month. I have a spot that concerns me, although I don't believe it's changed in the last five years. I have pictures and its been there at least 4-5 years. I just recently started questioning it - I had two kids in the last 6 years so I've been adjusting to a lot of skin changes on my stomach. Everything seems to have gone almost back to normal except this one spot. It is around a mole but doesn't look necessarily like part of the mole - almost like very light tan discolored skin around/near it.
Anyway, I have an appointment in a couple of days with my GP for non-skin related issues. I'm wondering if I should show him this spot and ask him to biopsy it, or wait another month and ask the same of my dermatologist. I'm concerned that he might cause me more anxiety if he comments that it should have come off long ago or something, although I've had several skin checked with my dermatologist in the last few years.
Long story short - should I wait for the dermatologist appointment? Or ask my GP? I feel like this isn't urgent because the mole hasn't changed, although the skin around it does look different than the rest of my skin and it just concerns me.
Thanks so much.

JudiAU - (12/2/2019 - 3:30pm)

When you are concerned about something, always ask. A biopsy is a simple matter. My doctor used to stay that skin changes and skin discoloration where common in pregnancy though so be prepared to hear that as a reason for the change.

HereIam789 - (12/2/2019 - 3:41pm)

That's so true. I've been told that a lot. I wouldn't worry as much about this darker spot if it weren't around a mole. Although the mole itself is symmetrical, the shading around it is not. It's very faint but definitely there and has been at least 4-5 years.

Does melanoma continue to change physically? Or can it appear then stay the same for 5 years?

I don't remember this mark being here before my second pregnancy, but I could be wrong and just not remember.

I'm afraid to ask my GP about it and have him make me more anxious.

LRS88 - (12/2/2019 - 4:01pm)

Hi! I do not want to you because the chances are good that your mole is nothing to worry about. However, after my second pregnancy I had a mole on my stomach that never quite shrunk down as the rest of my stomach did. The skin around it also looked a little different, like there was a darker/red color extension on the one side around the mole. Long story, but to summarize, in November 2018 I went to my dermatologist for my yearly skin check, she said she was not concerned as I just had a baby. I showed my GP in December at an appointment and she said that if the dermatologist is monitoring it then she was not overly concerned. I made another appointment with my dermatologist in March of 2019 and told her I was still concerned about it- it just did not look right to me.. She agreed to remove it and it was a .5mm melanoma (Stage 1A). If you are concerned about something I would ask to have it biopsied. Again, pregnancy DOES change your skin and it does not necessarily mean melanoma, but after my experience I am certainly an advocate for myself that if something looks different, to push for the biopsy. Best wishes to you and prayers that it is just a fun side effect of having been pregnant!

LRS88 - (12/2/2019 - 4:01pm)

Sorry- the first sentence is meant to say " I do not want to worry you" :-)

Anonymous - (12/2/2019 - 4:30pm)

Thank you for telling me. Sounds very similar to what I have going on. I wonder if I should ask my GP in a couple of days to go ahead and biopsy it or if I should just wait a few weeks for my derm.

Anonymous - (12/2/2019 - 4:34pm)

How long did it take for you to get your biopsy results back, if you don't mind me asking?

Anonymous - (12/2/2019 - 4:52pm)

I'm having so much anxiety about this. Did you melanoma continue to change physically? I'm so worried I've let this sit on my body for five years. I've been to the dermatologist 6 times since having my second child and she's never raised concern over this - but now that its on my radar I'm completely convinced that its bad.

LRS88 - (12/2/2019 - 9:15pm)

You do not need to stress yourself out over this, it is nothing until it is something! most moles that are biopsied come back as benign, so you should stress out over it. Especially if your dermatologist has been monitoring it and has not been concerned. I only shared my story to encourage you to voice your concerns to your doctor if the mole appears to be changing.

Anonymous - (12/3/2019 - 7:32am)

I appreciate you sharing your story. I was kind of spinning yesterday. I've read too many stories of doctor's blowing something off and being wrong. I'm concerned mine has been wrong for 5 years. I'm going to ask my GP to biopsy it tomorrow, then wait for results. I am feeling better now that I've made that decision, and will move forward from here.