Although melanoma can be life-threatening, there’s good news: the vast majority of melanomas can be cured with early detection. Here’s what you need to stay safe:
Here are some tips to get get help quickly from your medical professionals:
- Use your primary care doctor or nurse practitioner to advocate for an urgent problem. They have well established specialist contacts and a quick phone call from them can almost always find an appointment within the week.
Call the specialist’s office in the early morning (i.e. 9-10 a.m.) to ask if there have been any cancellations for that day. Be flexible and willing to change your schedule.
Realize that more than 90% of the time, the annoying mole you’re worrying about is not life-threatening, and reassurance is all that is needed.
Discuss problems with access with your dermatologist directly. Leaving a concerned message will result in a return phone call and some telephone triage.
If you are a high-risk patient and don’t have a dermatologist, be proactive and make an appointment to start yearly screenings.