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  • #20909
    EstherJune
    Participant

    Just looking for support or answers….

    About 8 months ago I noticed a fast growing growth on my left thigh. At first it was flesh colored and then turned pink and then began to develop red discolorations in it. I went to the derm and she said it was nothing but biopsied it anyway. I am 36, born and raised in Hawaii (never used sunscreen and more blistering burns than I can count). Both my parents have basal cell SC and my sister (37) just got diagnosed with basal cell also. Worst case scenario I thought maybe it might be basal cell.

    Got the call from my derm that I needed to come in and have the entire lesion excised and that it came back as severly atypical spitzoid with several melanocytic nests and individual cells with maturation into the dermis. She ended up excising a full inch around the lesion (which was about a little smaller than a pencil eraser) and that the biopsy she took did not have clear margins. From everything I have read spitzoids are usually benign so why cut out so much? Are derms just afraid to use the word melanoma? Mine said she wants to make sure that she got all the atypical cells out. She also said she will call me and let me know the results of this sample and if she feels it is needed will refer me to a skin cancer specialist. Why do that if it is not SC?

    Has anyone gone through this initially only to have them say it really is melanoma?

    #58392
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    I would have the pathology slides shipped to Sloan Kettering to Dr. Bastian who is an expert on Spitz Nevus. I’m not sure why your doctor seem to go overboard with the surgery. I would, however, make sure that this is spitz nevus and not melanoma with an expert viewpoint. Not many dermatopathologists are as expert as this as Dr. Bastian. You could also send them through http://www.Drmihm.com, Dr. Mihm is quite expert too. Hope all turns out well for you and let us know.

    #58393
    Worrywart
    Participant

    I agree with Catherine that your lesion needs another look from an expert. Derms tend to ‘freak out’ about spitzoid because they are not fully understood and they behave like melanoma in many cases. They also are very difficult to distinguish from melanoma pathologically. Because of this, it is not uncommon for misdiagnosis. First step…get a second opinion on your pathology. Just call your derm and have her send slides to one of the experts listed in Catherine’s response. You can obtain the address online. It is almost always covered by insurance. Best wishes!

    #58394
    Lisa P
    Participant

    I second Worrywart and Catherine’s opinion that an expert’s analysis is in order. Please keep us posted and take good care – L

    #58395
    EstherJune
    Participant

    Ok – Got my pathology report back from my WLE (for a spitzoid nevus I might add) and it came back as melanoma stage 0 and the derm said it had clear margins. So I guess it wasn’t “just” a spitz lesion afterall. They did send it out for a 2nd opinion to the Institute of Dermopatholgy. I go back in next wednesday to get my stiches removed. I am thankful I went in when I did!! Will keep everyone posted as I learn more information. :)

    #58396
    Lisa P
    Participant

    EstherJune – Stage 0 = Insitu, I believe. Excellent that you caught it right away and terrific that it’s gone! Vigilance is a key word in staying on top of all of this. Vigilance and living life fully. Good job, you! Lisa

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