Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Does the rate of growth of an Aytypical mole factor into the decision to excise?

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    I am new to all of this so please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong spot. I had to two atypical moles removed last Monday. One came back with Melanoma in situ & the other with Atypical-Severe. Both were surgically removed last week. I had four more biopsies and all came back Atypical 2-moderate and 2-severe all four with positive margins and a recommendation “complete removal is recommended” by the dermapathologist. I saw a new dermatologist on Tuesday who told me that I have Atypical Nevus Syndrome. He recommended surgery on the 2-severe and no surgery for the 2 moderates. He had not had a chance to see the office notes from my previous dermatologist P.A. I noticed that the moles that we have been watching have stayed the same since 2012 and then all 6 grew 1mm- 3mm since my last visit 6 months ago. The atypical-severe (on my bottom, the part that doesn’t see the sun) was surgically removed last week wasn’t even on our radar a year and a half ago. Then it was recorded as a 3 mm brown tan macule 1 year ago, a 6mm 6 months ago and it was 8mm last week when it was surgically removed. That one’s gone with clear margins but I am wondering about the 2 Atypical- moderates that my new doc wants to leave. They grew by 1mm & 2mms in six months. I have no idea if that is typical or not but would the rate of growth factor into the decision to surgically remove?

    I have lots of questions but I am going to try to control myself and not go on and on.

    Thanks in advance for any tips for this nervous newby :)

    maybe just one more….the new derm couldn’t get me back in for the surgery on the 2-Atypical-severe for 3 weeks. Is that a long time or reasonable?

    Catherine Poole

    First off, you’ve done a great job getting your skin checked and finding melanoma early. Dyplastic nevus syndrome occurs in many families and the best way to follow these is by photography. I agree with doctor number two that you don’t need to remove all of these moles the other doc suggested. But you should have regular follow up and do your own skin exams. Using photography can best follow any growth. I hope this helps you.


    Thank you so much for your reply. I am scheduled to have the mole mapping photography done next week. Do you happen to know if they typically measure the moles along with the pics?

    I am having a fair amount of anxiety that there are moles sitting on my skin that could be melanoma. I have so many atypical moles it would take for ever for someone to look at every single one closely. Basically, all of my dark moles look atypical. The tan macules are the ones that really have me freaked out because I have So many that sort of overlap and it seems impossible to figure out which ones are concerning. The reason I noticed the one on my bottom is because there Is less sun damage there so I was able to detect something new in that area. I understand that even the atypical severe moles don’t typically move to melanoma but I am concerned because I did have the one mole that WAS melanoma. Is it more likely that melanoma forms from the mole that I have tracked forever or do they more often form from these new light tan macules that my body is making?

    I am so curious why the moles that we have been tracking for since 2012 all stayed the same until six months ago? If 6 of the ones that we were tracking grew who’s to say some of the atypically moles that we weren’t tracking didn’t grow. I know that the mole mapping will help with all of this moving forward but I am concerned that I don’t have that comparative info on my entire body right now.

    Can you direct me to some good resources so that I can educate myself a bit more? I really want to read some stuff on the rate of growth of moles. Has anyone studied that?

    Thank you so much for your help.



    Brandi, sorry about the melanoma. It sucks. But you got all out and are watching like a hawk. Good!

    And great questions! Knowledge is power, is your absolute friend and keeps fear a bay….well sometimes anyway. You are your own best advocate!

    If I may suggest you take your questions, on paper, with you for your next visit with the derm and ask them to he/she. I would expect my derm to welcome such questioning and be absolutely willing to go over them with you. That would build trust for me. If the derm balks, provides glossed over or shallow answers, or, is dismissive, I personally would start looking around for a new one.

    Keep going and keep asking them questions!

    And tell us what you get for answers as I’m sure, others here would love to know those answers too.



    Thank you Jeff, I appreciate your kind words. I see my dermatologist on Tuesday and will have my list of questions ready-



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