Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Unchanged mole biopsy – question

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  • #21476
    antoit
    Participant

    Hello,

    I already wrote on this forum before my first biopsy few weeks ago.

    The histology reported the lesion as BCC, which obviously was a relief.

    I put that lesion at the attention of the dermatologist as it had changed over time.

    i even got the removal anticipated (went private) as it was actually scheduled for the 30th of Jul and i was quite concerned about it.

    At the time i had it checked for the first time the dermatologist also spotted another mole on my chest. She described it as deeply pigmented lesion with irregular borders and suggested a removal for this one too. So i am going to get it out on the 30th, next Tuesday.

    This mole has been there for many years (i found out it was present on a picture taken over 10 years ago) and shows no changes.

    I know that only the histology will tell what it actually is.

    I just wanted to know if the thing that it hasn’t changed over the year is a good sign or it doesn’t really matter and can be something serious. My derm told me that was a very good sign but she also told me that the mole that turned out to be a BCC was nothing to worry about. I later found out she was a trainee.

    Everyone says “look for changes”….well this mole hasn’t changed.

    Can a mole be a melanoma when it is stable or become a melanoma when it starts changing?

    Im not looking for a diagnosis, i’ve learnt the importance of the histology already.

    I also have smaller similar moles on my body…So all of them should be tested even if they don’t change? This removal gets me quite confused about what to remove and what can stay…

    Thank you

    Anto

    #61967
    antoit
    Participant

    Hello everyone, I just had the mole excised. The dermatologist who performed it was quite friendly and seemed knowing quite well the topic melanoma… So I took the chance and asked her the same question of this post. We all know that different doctors sometimes have different opinions but here’s her answer to that question.

    She basically said that a visible change in a mole is, obviously, a macroscopic one.

    Sometimes it is wise to prevent these macroscopic changes, which may be suggestive of melanoma, by spotting even unchanged moles which seem to be good candidates for future melanoma.

    Nevertheless, in her opinion, even moles that do not show macroscopic changes might already have microscopic ones going on.

    The aim of any dermatologist is to identify these moles that even if unchanged over the years may turn one day into melanoma by excusing them and send them to the lab to make sure that process isn’t already started at the microscopical level.

    ( sorry I’m not a native speaker… Hope that wasn’t too confusing).

    Thought I might report it even if for Some of you this might sound obvious…

    To be honest after hearing that the answer sounded obvious to me too!!! :)

    Still curious to know what you people think about this answer…

    Anto

    #61968
    HeatFire
    Participant

    Well once my mole had made its macro change it stayed that way for 3 years with no real visible change.

    I even know i spotted it looking like cancer like 5-6 years before i had it removed.

    So it doesn’t sound unlikely that it could be a mole that’s melanoma and looks the same for a long long time.

    #61969
    Lisa P
    Participant

    The problem is that for someone like me who seems to have all her moles come back as abnormal/dysplastic when they’re biopsied, you’d need to shave off most of my skin to be rid of it all. Not a recommended approach. Therefore, after talking to a lot of other specialists and pathologists, my skin oncologist and I decided we’d take this approach: I go in to her for checks very frequently (once a month) and am seen by three different docs over a six month period. Every visit, my doctor compares my existing moles against the grid photographs I had taken after I was first diagnosed three years ago. If she finds anything new, or anything that has changed in any way, she performs a biopsy. Otherwise, we leave it be. My last biopsy was done last Tuesday, when she discovered a small black dot on a mole. While the mole has been there for a long time, the dot had appeared in the last one-two months. Thankfully, the results came back as mildly atypical/dysplastic and, because the deep shave biopsy got the margins, I don’t need additional cutting. Hooray! I’m actually going to share the news on my other thread, but thought it was appropriate to give you all this information here. Best of luck and do whatever it takes to stay on top of things! Lisa P

    #61970
    cohanja
    Participant

    Once a month seemed like a lot at first when I read it, but then I realized I probably am seen maybe once every 2 months or so because I see a few different doctors because I want different eyes looking. . pretty much everything I have taken off comes back as Clark’s nevus or mildly atypical, etc. . . . so, ya, I could have everything taken off but that still wouldn’t be a guarantee as it could arise “de novo”, but I like to think that most of those would never have turned into anything bad

    #61971
    everymoment
    Participant

    The only moles that I have come back as melanoma are the ones that have changed. I have some weird looking moles but because they haven’t changed we don’t do anything. I had one removed just to test the theory and it came back normal:-)

    Isabell

    antoit wrote:

    Hello,

    I already wrote on this forum before my first biopsy few weeks ago.

    The histology reported the lesion as BCC, which obviously was a relief.

    I put that lesion at the attention of the dermatologist as it had changed over time.

    i even got the removal anticipated (went private) as it was actually scheduled for the 30th of Jul and i was quite concerned about it.

    At the time i had it checked for the first time the dermatologist also spotted another mole on my chest. She described it as deeply pigmented lesion with irregular borders and suggested a removal for this one too. So i am going to get it out on the 30th, next Tuesday.

    This mole has been there for many years (i found out it was present on a picture taken over 10 years ago) and shows no changes.

    I know that only the histology will tell what it actually is.

    I just wanted to know if the thing that it hasn’t changed over the year is a good sign or it doesn’t really matter and can be something serious. My derm told me that was a very good sign but she also told me that the mole that turned out to be a BCC was nothing to worry about. I later found out she was a trainee.

    Everyone says “look for changes”….well this mole hasn’t changed.

    Can a mole be a melanoma when it is stable or become a melanoma when it starts changing?

    Im not looking for a diagnosis, i’ve learnt the importance of the histology already.

    I also have smaller similar moles on my body…So all of them should be tested even if they don’t change? This removal gets me quite confused about what to remove and what can stay…

    Thank you

    Anto

    H

    #61972
    antoit
    Participant

    Hello folks, while waiting for my second biopsy result I went on with my Internet researches. I know I shouldn’t and just wait for the report but I can’t help it…. I’m sure everyone on here can understand how hard waiting can be… Maybe I was looking for reassurance, for some “good info” which may fit my personal case and help me to picture the possible scenarios I might face.

    Anyway while googling I found this

    http://m.voices.yahoo.com/melanoma-skin-cancer-moles-very-detailed-guide-3279334.html

    Probably some of you know it already but I found it quite different from the other questions about melanoma one usually finds around… And many of these questions are related to the question that made me start this post…

    I thought if might be helpful to others looking for answers on the “look for changes” topic….

    Anto

    #61973
    antoit
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    after 50 days i received the letter with the pathology report. Three weeks ago i decided to go to the hospital to get to know why it was taking so long. I managed to talk to a nurse who said ” the mole was benign and has been completely treated…You will receive a letter with the complete report”. The letter arrived this morning and the report states:

    “The skin lesion which we excised from your abdomen showed an innocent mole (compound melanocytic nevus) which was completely benign. The mole did have few cell changes (mild atypic and mild cytological and architectural atypia). It has been completely removed and are healing well.

    I am glad this was not a melanoma…but i am a bit confused and to be honest scared about that “atypic” word.

    I am confused because they first say that the mole was completely benign, then they say there was an atypia.

    To be honest with you i as expecting something like this…i mean some grade of atypia.

    I have lots of moles and now i am concerned that if this one had a mild atypic who knows if there are others with severe atypia…

    Plus it is not clear to me what’s the difference in between cytological and architectural atypic…

    Plus…and this is funny…i really don’t know how can they state that it is healing well if they never saw me after the excision.

    As i said after almost 5 weeks waiting i had even to go myself to the hospital and beg to know what was going on!!!

    Needless to say both me and my parents were speechless about such a delay.

    The mole has been removed in London (UK)

    Thanks to everyone

    #61974
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Atypical or dysplastic, are both used to describe “funny” looking moles, ones that don’t look ordinary. It does not mean they are melanoma by any means. Some people are covered in atypical/dysplastic moles, over 20, and they should have photography such as (dermatrak.com) to follow their many moles to look for “change.” No one can predict if one mole is going to become a melanoma over another. So good skin self exam is the answer. Sorry to hear about all of your delays in finding out your pathology! But rest easy that this is not melanoma.

    #61975
    Lisa P
    Participant

    I’m really sorry you had to suffer for 50 days before finding out that everything was ok! That seems completely unreasonable to me as I can’t stand waiting the week that it usually takes to get biopsy results here. I’m not sure if you have choices where you live that would allow you to go to another health provider but, if you do, I’d certainly choose somewhere else to be seen for dermatology-related care.

    I happen to have a bunch of dysplastic moles and know that the ones we’ve biopsied that have come back as mildly dysplastic, are absolutely nothing to worry about. It sounds like yours are simply atypical (funny looking, as Catherine said) but, if you’re at all worried about the other moles on your body, I would encourage you to get the body photography done. I am most grateful that I had mine done a few years ago as it has helped on many fronts (i.e., diagnosing things that could be problematic,and bringing peace of mind regarding those moles that aren’t anything to worry about). Best of luck and keep us posted! Lisa P

    #61976
    antoit
    Participant

    Thanks for your words Catherine and Lisa.

    I am glad this forum exists!!!

    After the fist hours i am now more rational and realized how lucky i have been!

    At the end the report made me even laugh by reading they stating “and it is healing well”

    The excision is actually healing well…I hope they placed no cameras behind my mirror…that would be the only explanation for such a statement as they saw me the last time on the 30th of July!!! LOL

    thanks again

    A.

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