Suspicious Spot: The End
The wait is over! One trip to the dermatologist and one biopsy later, I am free from a suspicious spot. The tiny white spot above my lip which concerned me beginning in July, is now gone and has been examined. For as much courage as it sometimes takes to see the doctor with a skin cancer concern, there is an equal amount of relief when you are fortunate enough to get the “all-clear.” Luckily, that was the case for me this time.
The suspicious spot that could be skin cancer
The shiny oblong bump that appeared above my lip this summer was unlike anything else I've had on my skin. Out of all the weird things that pop up - and I get some really oddball spots - this one was different. The photo I sent to my dermatologist raised a red flag for him as well. Try as he might to prove otherwise, and as much as we both wanted it to be a pimple or a milia cyst, he had his doubts. It just didn’t behave in a way typical for most milia.
Not today, skin cancer
The biopsy was quick, only caused a mild amount of fleeting pain, and yielded speedy results. In a little less than a week, I received an email notification directing me to log in and check my doctor’s app. When I did, the good news greeted me. It turns out, my irritating little spot was a milia cyst after all. My doctor had been right.
Biopsies, the necessary evil
Even though I added to my ever-growing collection of scars, I know that he and I both did the right thing. I monitored the spot for changes, and when it didn’t disappear, I contacted my doctor. He asked me to come in for a more thorough examination and ran the gamut of possible scenarios. When he exhausted the possibilities, he made the decision to take a sample for biopsy. A scar is nothing compared to the damage that can be done when melanoma, squamous cell, or basal cell carcinoma are overlooked.
My dermatologist keeps my skin cancer history in mind with every visit. Admittedly, 12 years is a long time to continue hearing sentences that begin with the words, “Given your history…”. It does become tiring. Actually, it’s frustrating. The truth is, I wouldn’t be comfortable with a doctor who brushed aside my concerns or failed to mention my history with basal cell and melanoma. Biopsies are a necessary evil, and this one was no different.
Suspicious spot or wild good chase?
Every little wacko spot or flake that exhibits the ABCDE rules of skin cancer gets my attention, even if it begins like this one did - pimple-like and unwavering in its desire to take up permanent residency front and center on my face. I could have lived with it. Truly, I could have. The point is I didn’t know if I should. That’s the super-fun thing about having skin cancer. There is no one photo that helps make a clear-cut diagnosis. You can’t always tell which spot is going to lead you on a wild goose chase and which one is going to bring you a world of hurt.
Give me the wild goose chase every time. Bring them on! I’ll take all the milia cyst diagnoses I can get, and I’ll take all the scars that come along with them. I am grateful this was one incident that needs no follow-up and no excision. Beyond all else, I am thankful I have learned to be cautious and watchful. You know...given my history and all.
How often do you speak to your family members about skin cancer?