Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Best melanoma Drs/Treatment Centers & Question on diagnosis

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    If anyone could share their knowledge I’d really appreciate it.

    First, who are the most noted melanoma doctors/treatment centers in the US? I’d be willing to travel for someone I could definitely trust. I am in the SE but can travel anywhere.

    Secondly, I have read that melanoctyic nevus actually contains melanoma cells. Did I read this correctly? The pathology report says exactly this: (Can anyone help make sense of it?)

    Melanoctyic Nevus, Compound Lentiginous Type, Inflamed, with Moderate Junctional Atypia.

    There is a proliferation of melanocytes at the dermal-epidermal junction and within the dermis. At the junction, melanocytes are arranged as nests and single cells, displaying lentiginous features. Within the dermis, melanoctyes display nevocellular features, associated with an inflammatory component of primarily lymphocytes and scattered melanophages.

    This displays a moderate degree of cytologic and architectural atypia within the juncional component, but lacks the characteristic architectural/stromal features of dysplastic nevus. This process extends to the lateral edges in the sections examined.

    Doesn’t that last part say that there were not clear edges? From what I read that is extremely important in getting all of it. I had three moles removed with almost the same pathology and have about 10 more on me that I got about the same time and look the same. Very nervous. Can someone please tell me what I’m looking at?

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Catherine Poole

    This does NOT sound like melanoma. Did your doctor discuss the pathology? It sounds like a mole that possible melanocytes (which are normally in your body/skin) and nothing really else. Where do you live? sounds like you just need a good dermatologist who will talk with you.


    Thank you for answering Catherine. My dermatologist basically sent a message that it is not cancer and she isn’t very open to questions. I have set up an appt to talk with her about the results. Do you have any recommendations for trustworthy dermatologists in the Atlanta area? I have many of these moles on my body (probably about 10 more) from being naive and going in tanning beds. They are new since I was 40. I have a friend who passed away from melanoma which metastasized this Feb; I don’t want to miss anything. I have not been good with sunscreen and have been a sun worshipper until my friend’s passing this year. I went in for a body check and now realize all of these new spots are atypical. Doesn’t this pathology report mean that these moderately atypical moles actually contain some melanoma cells? Also, that the biopsy didn’t have clear edges? I’ve read that it is very important to have clear margins, correct? I have an appt with another dermatologist but I’d love a recommendation to a trusted one someone in this forum may have experience with, if you or anyone has one to offer. I know I have other moles to be removed as well.

    Catherine Poole

    You don’t have melanoma so your questions don’t apply to the situation. If you have many moles, you should get whole body photography to watch them over time. Go to http://www.aad.org and put in your zipcode. You then can get a list of dermatologists in the area and check out where they were educated etc. You might try one that is affiliated with Emory.



    Hope your dermatologist can clarify this for you – your mole was not melanoma. It didn’t contain melanoma cells. Melanocytes, as Catherine mentioned, are normally occurring – they are just your normal pigment-producing cells and they are in everyone’s skin.

    Hope this helps,



    Thank you so much for the reply and explanation Wendy. I am seeing a different dermatologist who hopefully will be open to questions. I really appreciate your answer.

    Thank you Catherine also. I was hoping to find a name that someone has had experience with, I hate to keep paying co-pays to find out. Thank you for the info, however.


    I’ve been seeing Dr. Stephanie Gardner for 3+ years. She is located in Duluth at North Atlanta Dermatology. I also had full body photos done at Northside Hospital. I can’t remember the name of the company, but I’m sure you can google it.

    Good luck & keep us posted.

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