Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Making sense of pathology report

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    Had a mole on my back removed last Tuesday….report says ” compound dysplastic melanocytic nevus with severe atypia, however, an early melanoma (0.4 mm in depth) cannot be excluded in these sections”.

    Yesterday had a wide excision done. Is there a chance the biopsy on this comes back different than the original from the mole? Also I have multiple atypical moles and I feel like I’m going to be living my life looking in the mirror every day for changes.


    I think it’s normal to feel like that. After I had my diagnosis (in 2011) every spot I had looked suspicious to me – I’ve had 50-60 biopsies since and none have come back as anything more than mild atypia, but they all looked sinister to me

    In terms of your report, you could always get another opinion


    I guess my biggest fear right now is that the new pathology comes back and says it is really bad melanoma


    Hi Ray,

    Don’t worry – the excision pathology report won’t show anything new. Your original pathology report included the depth at .4mm, which means that they were able to determine the final depth with that sample (otherwise, the report would have said something like, “lesion extends past lower margin of sample,” or something similar).

    If your biopsy appeared to remove the whole mole, the pathology report from the WLE will likely contain nothing notable. The WLE is just a precaution in case the biopsy left anything from near the edge of the mole.

    Hope this helps,


    (.47mm Stage I mel removed in 2011)


    I’ve got many other atypical moles…now everything is making me panic…..will they lead to me eventually having melanoma? Why weren’t more removed and biopsied?


    Hi there,

    Get a second opinion on your pathology – not because I think you have anything to worry about (because I don’t) but because i think it’s important in all cases of moles that *could* be melanoma. Second opinions generally come back quicker than first (that was my experience). Hopefully the next report will just say atypical….and then you’ve got absolutely NOTHING to worry about.

    Catherine Poole

    If you have many moles to follow, the best bet is to get whole body photography. You know your body best and your doctor can’t possibly keep up without photos. Ask if their practice does this. Otherwise you can do it yourself with help from your partner.


    another part of the report says “lateral and deep edges are positive for neoplasm” that sounds bad.

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