Melanoma Diagnosed as a Cyst

I noticed a lump in my skin and made an appointment with my dermatologist to examine it. She said it was a benign cyst and I didn't need to do anything about it. I insisted that it be excised, and the "cyst" was removed. The doctor said it looked very strange. The "cyst" was biopsied and 9 days later I received the diagnosis of desmoplastic melanoma.

I later read that this type of melanoma is often misdiagnosed. I am glad that I insisted that it be excised, as it would have delayed treatment until the tumor was much larger where it could no longer be ignored. My tumor was removed but came back in 2.5 months. A much larger area was removed from my scalp and the outer layer of my skull was scraped off to get a good margin. I am now undergoing immunotherapy and will soon begin radiation, both for adjuvant therapy based on the size of the tumor and recurrence.

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