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August 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm #21528
I’m new here, and I bit confused! Last week I had a mole biopsied (shave method), and the results came back “severely atypical – but not cancerous” according to my derm. She is going to do a WLE on Tuesday, and said “best case scenario we get all of the cells out”. Does it ever happen that cancerous cells are below where the shave biopsy occurred and this could be more serious? I’ve just been an absolute wreck, and my mind keeps going to the worst places.
Any insight would be so appreciated, I know a pathology would be helpful, but I didn’t think to ask for one.
Thank you so much.August 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm #62211
I’m not sure if it’s an WLE or a second excision, or if those are the same thingAugust 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm #62212cohanjaParticipant The vast majority of atypical moles never become cancerous. The general rule of thumb for atypical moles: if it is mildly atypical, you want clear margins. If it is moderately atypical, you want clear to conservative margins (2-3mm). If it is severely atypical, you want 5mm margins – just like melanoma in situ. There are some doctors who will just “watch” mild or even moderately atypical lesions even if they don’t have clear margins, but most prefer at least clean margins.August 19, 2013 at 12:47 am #62213 Thank you for your quick response! It is comforting to know that these cells typically don’t turn into anything. I think I’m just working myself up worrying that they missed something.August 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm #62214 If you feel concerned about your pathology you can always get a second read on it. If 2 pathologists say it’s just severely atypical, then I wouldn’t worry a bit. The cells of an atypical mole are not cancerous and cannot ‘spread’. The wide excision (WLE) is just a precaution -better safe than sorry. Even if it was melanoma it would probably be in situ which has same treatment.August 20, 2013 at 1:13 am #62215 Thank you! Your username definitely describes me to a T! Lol. I go in tomorrow for the excision. Ready to get this over with.August 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm #62216 No more worries! It’ll be behind you soon. You may be at higher risk for melanoma since you’ve had a severely atypical – so practice sun safety and get annual checks from a derm…but most importantly get to know your skin, and watch for change / anything new.August 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm #62217ChelsiParticipant I have a similar concern. I had a mole removed earlier this month via a punch biopsy and it came back as an atypical spitz Neva. I go in Monday to have more excised, and am so nervous! After reading online about atypical moles and spitz nevus I can’t help but wonder if the dermatologist diagnosed it correctly. The spot is almost healed, but there’s still pigment in it. Is this normal? I am getting a second opinion, like has been suggested on many forums… Guess I’m just looking for encouragement or peace of mind. Wishing you all the best! Thanks!August 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm #62218 hi Chelsi – no reason to pre-worry! Right now it’s just an atypical spitz, which is not a cancerous lesion. A second opinion is a good idea w/ spitz as they can look similar to melanoma pathologically. BUT don’t worry bc odds are …its just a spitz! Best wishes!
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