The Skin Cancer Waiting Game


I went to the surgeon yesterday to see what’s up with this weird, itchy spot on my face. He definitely did not have the same strong reaction as my primary care physician. In fact, he was as laid back as could be explaining each of my options with great care and detail. Basically I can have the spot completely removed without knowing anything. Or I can opt to have it biopsied which would give us some insight. Both of these options leave scarring; the surgeon didn’t sugarcoat this part. The third avenue is to just wait it out. He felt confident that the spot was still small enough that we could wait a bit and see what it would do. Would it get larger or change color? Or would it heal over time? Right now those were the big unknowns. We left his office on the premise that we would take a few days to make a decision.

So here I am…trying to decide the best course of action. I’m strongly tempted to just ride this out for a period of time. My hopeful gene is doing everything it can to persuade me in this direction, insisting that the spot is really nothing and will simply go away. The pessimistic troll sitting on my shoulder, however, is screaming “GET IT BIOPSIED! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” And I have to admit, I’m questioning why I would wait. Oh yeah, the scar. Now I would gladly trade my face for my life any day of the week and had the surgeon looked at me and said, “That has to come off, now,” I would have let him perform the procedure and lived with the aftermath. But that’s not what happened.

The greatest concern in waiting is what if it grows larger and proves to be something that has to be removed. Had I had it biopsied earlier, the procedure, healing and scarring would have all been minimized. On the other hand, if it’s nothing and I have it biopsied right away, I might kick myself for not waiting. Decisions. Decisions. The skin cancer waiting game.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?


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