Your experiences with biopsies??

When I had my annual physical, my Dr didn’t like the look of a spot on my shoulder. She took a sample for a biopsy, and it came back “abnormal” - not precancerous, just abnormal.

I went to a dermatologist and had it removed 2 weeks ago, and today I went back to have the stitches taken out. This time, the biopsy specifically said “melanoma” - dang. The dermatologist requested a verification, and I’m waiting to hear back from them. I don’t know whether to fret or not. Like fretting will do anything for me.

So, anybody got experience with this sort of thing? Are labs as careless as some news reports would have us believe? Is the difference between “abnormal” and “melanoma” so subtle as to cause an error like this? And if it is, in fact, malignant, am I correct in assuming that I’ll probably have to have all my moles, age spots, and other skin anomalies checked out??

Thanking you in advance, but I’ll let my Dr do the checking…

Getting old is NO fun.

That, in itself, wasn’t surprising. (rimshot)

Jeeze, FCM, I can’t help with an answer, but you’ve got my hugs.


Sorry, no good stats about lab screwups here. I do know that waiting for results is hellish and that the treatment of melanoma is pretty effective if caught early on. I’m not much of a cyber-hugger but I’ll send postive energy your way! Ohm FairyChatm oHM.

Damn, I can’t type or proofread for squat today,

I can’t really speak to the question of lab errors, but my husband had a melanoma removed from his forehead some years back, and, yes, he had a thorough examination by a dermatologist after that and every year since.

shucks, dropzone, a cheap shot and a hug - I’m touched… Thanks.

I appreciate the positive vibes, jlzania - the waiting is worse because they couldn’t tell me when they could tell me something. Ah well…

cher3, I was already prepared for the annual checkover. I’ve been asking my husband regualrly to check out my back. He always seemed to get distracted. Go figure…

The only biopsy I’ve ever had came back negative, so I can’t help there. But I will send you all these spare good thoughts/vibes I’ve got laying around. Please keep us posted.

Yeah, but it STILL beats the alternative.

No info, but best wishes.

I don’t have any sort of stats on lab screw ups either but my dad just recently had a liver biopsy done due to a tumer they found on it. We waited a week for the results, which came back negative thank God, but the doctor has ordered another one to be done b/c they apperantly aren’t sure that the first biopsy was taken from the right part of the liver. Then when they tried to do the second biopsy yesturday they found that the first biopsy obviously wasn’t from the right part of the liver b/c they couldn’t get to that part without being in danger of punctureing his lung. So from what I can tell biopsies aren’t really an exact science. At least not when they are doing them on anything inside the body. I don’t know what the next step is for my dad but hopefully it will be more affective than the first biopsy was.

My story is similar. The doc noticed a small, black curlicue on my shoulder and asked if it had been there long. I said I had never noticed it before. He said something like, “If it’s melenoma and we take it off now, it’s 100% curable. Or, if we don’t take it off, and it is melanoma and it spreads, the survival rate is 50%.”

I told him to break out the silverware. Haven’t had any recurrences.

I had an abnormal pap come back and the doctor wanted to do a biopsy, but when she went to do it, she couldn’t find anything to biopsy. I think they somehow switched paps at the lab.

My husband watched the excision of my bad spot - it wasn’t exactly a mole or a freckle… Anyway, he said the Dr cut pretty deep and from the size of the stitched area, I know it was a pretty big hunk taken out - 10 stitches inside, 10 outside. I’m going with the assumption that even if it was malignant, it’s all gone.

Meanwhile, I’m looking at every darker area on my arms and legs - at least the ones I can see without being a contortionist So far, none have the obvious signs you’re always told to look for: uneven border, very dark black or red, bleeding, protruding teeth and limbs… or maybe that was a dream I had… Funny thing about the one that was removed, it wasn’t bothering me, and I just mentioned it in passing because it was a fairly recent addition to the landscape of my skin. If I’d ignored it, so would my Dr.

Thanks for the good wishes and good vibes. I’m really not worrying, yet, much. Just another scar to add to my collection.

I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but here’s something to think about.

Get a whole-body check with a reputable dermatologist. Have him/her check every mole, bump and freckle on your bod, including your scalp, especially if you are over 30.

My SIL just had it done, because her best friend’s husband ignored a weird mole for years, and when he finally got it checked out, it was melanoma and it had spread all over. He is under 30 and fighting for his life.

It only takes a few minutes and can save lives. My husband just did it and I am going to, now that I have delivered my son.