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Suspicious changing mole - wait 3.5 weeks to be seen?

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Suspicious changing mole - wait 3.5 weeks to be seen?

Posted By
5/10/2019 4:58pm
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Replies: 2

Hi everyone,

Thank you in advance for your time. I am a very fair, very moley late 30's woman who is meticulous in the sun now but had tons of childhood sun exposure (stopped at 19 when I finally knew better). I've had 20 or so moles removed in my life and they were all benign except one in December 2016, which was severely dysplastic. 1.5 years prior to removal, the top layer of it had cracked and flaked off, with a red ring around it. It returned to normal within the 10 days I could get my derm to look at it and then we watched it look normal to very mildly flaky for 1.5 years until I insisted it was removed. I had the WLE and there was no evidence of further atypical cells.

I've been seen for 5+ years at a melanoma center of excellence with a mole mapper and also a local derm. The local derm there usually has shorter waits and will basically excise whatever I tell him to; the melanoma center of excellence is more "watch and wait" - hence the watching and waiting with the severely dysplastic. I alternate being seen at each place so that I'm seen by someone every four months.

Yesterday, I saw my local derm for a skin check. I asked him if there was anything he would take off, and he pointed to a mole under my bra strap along my mid back. It's one that I have had mole mapped at the other institution, as it looks like a round mole with a freckle on it. He said it was absolutely no rush, but to make an excision appointment for when he is back in town. He left today for a month's vacation, so the excision appointment is set for the first available time - 7 weeks from now. He also punched two freckles that are a little blurry and I asked him to remove.

When I got home, I compared the mole he pointed out to pictures I took about 1.5 years ago, and it seems to have changed. Instead of just having a freckle on it (which is near the top), it has a reddish-brown splotch in the bottom part of the circular mole. I am very careful at regularly inspecting my skin and somehow had not noticed this splotch. Perhaps it has been irritated by my bra/sports bra/etc? It doesn't seem like new irritation, but rather pigment.

Since the local derm is out of town, I called my melanoma center of excellence docs and the soonest they can get me in is 3.5 weeks. If I wait for that appointment, we can compare what I have today with the image that was mole mapped when I was last there, in January. I believe this mole has been mole mapped for at least a few years. So I'm tempted to wait 3.5 weeks so we can compare images and then ask them to excise that day if it really has changed that much. I can't imagine that this mole looked like this in January and it was no big deal, but maybe it's changed that much in four months? Or maybe the splotch has always been there and my at-home pics from 1.5 years ago are not great? They are certainly not as clear as the mole mapped images. I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me.

Should I wait 3.5 weeks or try to figure something else out? You can probably feel my anxiety through the screen and I apologize for that.

Best wishes,

I know you are anxious, but the wait is not that long. Even after I was diagnosed Stage 3B, my onco told me not to rush on my treatment decisions. What she hears often from her patients is they wished they hadn’t rushed into treatment.
The wait is awful emotionally and psychologically difficult but 3 1/2 weeks will most likely not make a big difference. You’ve been diligent take solace n that.
Granted if there is a noticable change like a lump or swollen nearby lymph node, call back and let them know.
Best wishes to you.. try to stay calm. Meditation is working best for me.


Thank you, Lucy. I appreciate it. I need to meditate! I’ve fallen off the wagon :)