Hello. Worried.

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    • #9627

      Hi. I am currently worried that I have a melanoma, but am waiting, waiting, just to get in to see my GP. I have been obsessively reading and looking at melanoma pictures, and am very scared that I may have a cancerous lesion. I have taken very clear pictures of it, and when it’s blown up, It appears to me to have many of the features that melanoma is supposed to have. I had a small pink spot on my wrist for maybe 9 years. Then this past year, it acquired a brown freckle like spot right beside and almost on top of it. It seems to be irregular, and very amorphorius, or blotch like. I can see the pink from the original spot in the corner of it. So I am sick with worry. Is this pink indicative of melanoma, or is it just the original spot showing through the new brown blothch. I showed my doctor about 6 months ago, and he dismissed it as nothing, but he did not look at it with a dermascope or anything. I did mention it had been pink, but it was now tan and bigger. I am 58 years old, and have read that any such change at my age is suspicious. I wish I had read more before that visit! I would have insisted on it being checked. Now, however, I am only one month away from moving from BC to Ontario, and am so worried that I will be delayed in any kind of diagnosis because of this. I don’t have a doctor appointment yet until June 1st. I live, currently in Northern BC.
      What will my doctor do? As a GP, will he be able to do a biopsy, or will this be yet another wait because he will only refer me to someone. If it is indeed suspected melanoma, would a biopsy and diagnosis be fast tracked at all? Could some of you tell me how long your waiting times were from 1st suspicion, and then from each step in this sort of protocol. What ARE the steps involved here?
      Is it possible to have a change or a new lesion such as I described, and it still be benign? Or is it almost always or always melanoma with such instances?
      When I move from BC to Ontario in one month ( June 29th), what will happen if waiting times for each step to see what this is, exceeds my time here before I have to move to Ontario. Can I still be referred across the country for the next step?
      I haven’t slept for days now because I am so obsessively thinking about this . I feel almost frantic to see a doctor, and at the same time, I worry that when I do, he will dismiss it again. I am so sorry if I am rambling. Please excuse me.
      Are there private clinics ( you pay ), in B.C or Ontario that diagnose and remove melanomas? Is that what I should try to do?
      I was even looking online to see if there were any reputable sites where I could email my picture of the lesion to to try to get an opinion. Then I figured they’d all just say you can’t know for sure unless it’s biopsied.
      Information or advice would be very welcome.
      Anyone want to see my picture of the lesion? Could anyone tell me anything if you could see it?
      I must apologize again. Please excuse me.

    • #9629
      Annette CyrAnnette Cyr

      Hello there and thanks for your posting. I can clearly see that you are worried. I see that you have an appointment with your GP in a couple of days. Most GPs are not trained to spot melanoma or other forms of skin cancer and I am unaware of any that are trained using a special device call a dematoscope (not many derms are trained or use them, although they should!). As you are in the midst of a move too, that is surely adding to your stress. And yes, there can be some delays in medical treatment when you are moving between provinces. So, I would suggest, for your peace of mind that you ask the doctor to do a punch or excisional biopsy on the mole. Again, a lot of GPs will not do it as they are not comfortable doing it. If it comes down to cost, ask him/her and offer to pay for the service – it should be only $75 or maybe a bit more – but a small price to pay for peace of mind. The caveat is that they have to do it properly – not a shave biopsy! Remove the whole thing and send off to pathology. If he can’t or won’t, then ask for an immediate referral to a dermatologist. Problem can be getting in – even with a potential melanoma – depending on the area of the country, it could be a week to several months.You have to have a doctor that is persistent to try to get you in.
      When you move provinces, there is a waiting period before you can join the new provinces health care. Here is what it is in Ontario:
      ‘If you move to Ontario directly from another province and apply for coverage, your OHIP coverage will begin on the first day of the third month after establishing residence in Ontario, provided you were insured in your previous province or territory.

      Your valid health card from your former province will continue to provide you with health insurance coverage in accordance with that province/territory’s plan during the waiting period’.
      SO you will still be cover in BC, but would have to get a GP here to refer you to a dermatologist – so same situation as you are in in BC. I would suggest you try like hec to get in quicker with your GP and get him to do the biopsy or let him know your concern and moving situation and see if you can get an expedited referral.
      I am not aware of private clinics that will take out a mole – there are some private medical service providers if you search on line, but you would have to speak to them to find out if they offer that as a service. You could also try https://molescope.com/ You have to buy the device, so you may not get it in time and then take the picture – and I am not sure if they have physicians yet that will read the picture and tell you if they think it is something to be concerned with. But thought I would mention.
      Let us know how you make out at your appointment on the 1st. Hoping he will address it there and send it off. Takes a week to 2 weeks to get results back.

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