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December 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm #23438leemccarthynParticipant
A few months ago I was diagnosed with a stage 1 melanoma. My physician performed a WLE and the pathology came back with clear margins. At that time my physician said that I should come in every 3 months for a full skin check. Last week was my first 3 month check up since the initial diagnosis and my physician decided she wanted to biopsy 3 more suspicious looking moles. Today when they called with the pathology results they let me know that 1 was a benign mole, the other 2 they called atypical dysplastic compound nevus (my spelling may be off as I forgot my path report at the office) and said the pathologist recommended WLE. The nurse then went on to tell me my physician (a dermatologist) feels the pathologist is being too aggressive suggesting WLE and said I should consider submitting the biopsies to another pathologist for a 2nd opinion. I will do what my physician suggests but I am very confused. If the 2nd pathologist does not suggest excision how do I know which recommendation to follow? My gut instinct is to have the WLE so that I don’t have to worry about these 2 spots anymore. My physician biopsied these moles because she felt they looked suspicious so I don’t understand why she would be questioning the pathologists recommendations. Has anyone else had a similar experience?
3 months ago when I was first diagnosed with melanoma I panicked and kind of stuck my head in the sand. I was just finally starting to feel ok again and actually looking forward to my first 3 month skin check and now the panic is setting in again. I’m thankful to have found this forum and apologize for the long winded post.
Thank youDecember 25, 2018 at 1:08 pm #70832Catherine PooleKeymaster
Don’t worry about being long winded here, we are pleased to help with the details. There are many doctors who get worried about dysplastic nevi (not melanoma) and will take many off and do wide excisions. This is not usually recommended. The best way to follow nevi or dysplastic nevi is by photography, to look for any change. A second opinion on pathology is good idea if there is a question about the pathology and it is NOT performed by a dermatopathologist. I like the thinking of your doctor who is sounds more judicious. But when it comes down to it, it is often the opinion of the doctor and not based on scientific validation. I think you have to go with the doctor you feel the most confident in. Let us know how you are doing..
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