What is an Acceptable Wait Time for Basal Cell Cancer Treatment on Ear?

My GP referred me to dermatology for a biopsy after I pointed out a non-healing sore on top of my ear. It took a month to get in for the biospy and a week to get the results which were basal cell cancer. Now I have a Mohs procedure scheduled but the soonest they could get me in was two months and three weeks out. Is that an acceptable wait time or should I be trying to get in sooner?

Doctor Answers 4

Getting an appointment sooner for Mohs

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While waiting 4 months to have your lesion treated is probably ok, it is not ideal.  And if you are a transplant patient or are immune suppressed, it should be done sooner.  As a patient, I wouldn't want to wait that long to have my cancer treated.  I would recommend taking the initiative and looking on the website for the American College of Mohs Surgery and you can simply type in your zip code and see which Mohs trained physicians are near you.  You might even go for a consultation or two prior to your surgery to see which doctor you like best so you can make an informed decision.   

What is an Acceptable Wait Time for Basal Cell Cancer Treatment on Ear?

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While it would be ideal if the process was more streamlined and your Mohs surgeon wasn't booked out, this type of delay is not unusual. Basal cell skin cancers tend to be slow growing and this type of delay does not typically result in much change in garden variety skin cancer. If you notice any more rapid changes in your skin cancer, let your Mohs surgeon know.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Weber Facial Plastic Surgery

Basal cell carcinoma on the ear and Mohs surgery

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Generally speaking basal cell cancers on the ear are treated by Mohs surgery as the first line therapy. Waiting 1-2 months is ok unless it is a very large tumor or there is something particularly aggressive about the basal cell cancer (ie aggressive pathology, rapid growth, etc). If you have a concern ask your Mohs surgeon if they can fit you in if someone cancels or if a sooner opening comes up. 

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

What is an Acceptable Wait Time for Basal Cell Cancer Treatment on Ear

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Normally basal cell cancers are very slow growing so putting the surgery a few months out is fine. Mohs surgeries can be time-consuming so many doctors can't schedule a bunch within a specific timeperiod because they have other cases to see. It won't be dangerous for you to wait this length of time before having the procedure done.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."


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