Changing moles? Get in QUICK!

April 2013

Sometimes I will go 6 months without seeing a melanoma but I have had three in the last month that I wanted to tell you about. I try to tell my patients “this is a partnership-my eye will hopefully pick up anything unusual, but I need you to tell me if anything starts changing”. Anyway, three women, all between early 40’s and early 50’s, came to me with a lesion or mole that was changing. All had been there about 6 weeks. All were biopsied and found to be melanoma. What gives me goose bumps and the message I want to convey is, if you believe a mole is changing or even have a new lesion you are worried about, try to see me in a week or two because these things can grow quickly. Basal cell carcinomas are a different story-we can watch something possibly suspicious over several months before we decide to biopsy and it only grows locally. As you know, as a rule of thumb, basal cells don’t metastasize and kill. So, what can I do to help? I usually have openings within the next two weeks, although it may not be at our preferred time. However, even if I have a full schedule, if you are concerned about one changing mole or new lesion, I would rather see you at the end of the day than think you waited because you could not get in. Just tell the front desk you have a changing mole and to schedule you at the end of the day! Now that I have said that, if you have a list of other issues, I may make you reschedule for those, BUT if I am suspicious about a mole, I will take it off that day…After seeing these three cases, I just wanted to get this off my chest. Fortunately, the three cases I talked about are in the early stages and I think all will be well. I am not trying to make you paranoid or scared; I would just hate to see you blow something off for months. I did speak to 2 of the women already about writing this to you,  and they thought it was a good idea. Pass it on to a friend if you want.