Suspicious Spot On My Lip: Part 1
Last updated: April 2023
July was an eventful month this year. My sister got married, my son prepared to begin his freshman year in college, we visited Disneyworld, and a new bump showed up. Admittedly, I am pretty stoked about the first three, but that last item has thrown a wrench into things...again.
I can't stop thinking about it
It’s sitting there staring me in the face every time I look in the mirror, and it’s not going away. That’s just one of several signs it’s waving at me on a daily basis--time to see my dermatologist.
My regular checkup with my doctor is scheduled for January, but I’m not waiting any longer to have this little fella checked out. Let me tell you why:
- He’s shiny. For a thorn in my side, he’s awfully pearly and smooth.
- He’s no zit. This little guy isn’t as much like a pimple as I would prefer. I would love nothing more than to say at the age of 45, “Ah, it’s just a zit.” No such luck. He’s not behaving like one at all.
- He’s sticking around. I mean, geez, he’s been with me since July and hasn’t changed at all. This unwelcome guest just appeared overnight and is maintaining the status quo. I have to give him credit where credit is due--he’s no quitter.
- He’s high and mighty. I have lots of flat white scars from cryosurgery. He’s not flat; he’s definitely raised compared to the surrounding skin.
- He’s an oddball. I can’t say with any certainty that he’s regularly-shaped. If anything, he’s a bit of an oval.
- He’s kind of a pain. Most of the day I don’t even notice him, but when my mind wanders to his irritating existence and I touch him, I get a little twinge of pain. No big deal overall, but it’s one more thing on my checklist of concerns.
- He’s now on my dermatologist’s radar. One quick message with an attached picture of my friend in all his glory received a prompt reply, and an appointment was scheduled.
I am holding out hope that my friend is of the ingrown hair variety. Having a sketchy history with precancerous spots and bouts with rosacea as a teen, I am used to my fair share of skin anomalies. Ingrown hairs are not on my list of regular skin complaints, though. In fact, I don’t know that I have ever had one.
Basal cell carcinoma is first and foremost on my list of concerns. All of my three previous basals were found by my dermatologist during skin checks, and I never knew they existed. They were white scaly patches I had overlooked and passed off as dry skin.
But I'm really concerned
This spot...well, this spot is different. I am hoping that it’s not basal, but I feel certain my little friend is going to see the business end of my dermatologist’s blade. A biopsy is most likely in my near future.
I’ve done my due diligence with this guy. I’ve watched him carefully and noted all the hallmarks of suspicious spots. Given plenty of time to make a graceful departure, he refuses to be on his merry way. Best case scenario--my dermatologist’s closer examination will reveal a completely benign and harmless spot like the ingrown hair.
Preparing for the worst
Worst case scenario: a biopsy will show I need an excision. Somewhere in between the two lies the gray area where my doctor will bring up spot treating. Of one thing I am certain, having skin cancer is getting old.
How often do you worry about skin cancer coming back?
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