Results Are In!

Posted By
12/19/2013 11:03am
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Replies: 8

I had 3 more biopsies done this past Monday and I got my results today. One was just a regurlar mole, one look like just a wart, and another had abnormal cells. I asked if abnormal meant melanoma and she said that it didn't say melanoma, basal, or squamous, just said abnormal cells. So she said that the doctor was gonna keep an eye on it and in four weeks he was gonna freeze the rest out. Then as I was on the phone she scheduled me to come in for my wide local excision on Dec.26, which is 3 weeks since I got diagnosed with the melanoma. I'm suppose to pick up my path reports today for the recent biopsies. Ok with that said I have a couple of questions I'm hoping someone can answer for me. 1. What does abnormal cells mean and is that a threat for melanoma, or would the path report specifically say melanoma if that was what they suspected? 2. Are they waiting too long to do my WLE or did anyone else have to wait 3 weeks or longer to get it done? Thanks in advance to whoever answers my questions. :)

In God I Trustsmiley!

Janner - (12/19/2013 - 11:26am)

3 weeks is nothing - there is no "time limit" and waiting doesn't affect prognosis. Many people wait much longer.

As for "abnormal cells", no clue.  You will have to read the pathology report.  Since the doctor is planning on "freezing", I doubt the abnormal cells are melanocytes or anything that could be a precursor to melanoma.  Freezing isn't typically a method used for dysplastic or atypical moles.  Atypical moles aren't melanoma and most likely wouldn't become melanoma.  But depending upon the degree of dysplasia or atypia, some small percentage could change for the worst.  But cutting is the usual method to remove, not freezing.  So it's likely that your abnormal lesion was something else altogether.  Freezing is typically used for the other types of skin cancer as well as benign stuff.

POW - (12/19/2013 - 11:28am)

Hi, Wendy-

I can't tell you how many biopsies I have had during my lifetime that came back as "kind of funny-looking" and never once have I had cancer. I'm talking about all kinds of biopsies on all kinds of tissue-- breast, colon, skin, cervix, etc. Different pathologists use different words-- atypia, hyperplastic, pseudostratification, disordered-- to me they all mean "kind of funny-looking". So I don't think you have anything to worry about from these biopsies. All 3 spots were checked and none of them were melanoma. Funny-looking, yes; melanoma, no.

So just stay vigilant, practice sun safety and watch for moles that change. You're doing everything right. Oh, and waiting 3 weeks for a WLE is not at all unusual and does not pose a risk. No problems there. 

WendyD. - (12/19/2013 - 7:52pm)

Um wow. Since I went to pick up my path report I am more confused than ever. The mole(lesion) that itched and concerned me is the one that came back abnormal. Well the doctor wanted to just keep an eye on it and then in about a month freeze the rest of it, but the path report specifically says it needs to be excisized. Ok now this is were I am confused the path report reads like this: There are focal desmoplastic features at the base of the biopsy with spitzoid cytomorphology. Very focal spitzoid change is also noted in the junctional component. There is no evidence of malignancy. However, the lesion is broadly transected at the periphery and base of the shave biopsy specimen, precluding assessment of circumscription, symmetry and size. Conservative excision is recommended to ensure adequate histologic evaluation.(mind you on the report the excision part was underlined by the pathologist.) Ok this is totally Chinese to me, and now I'm betwixed on whether I should tell the doctor I prefer to have it excised or just go his route and wait 4 weeks then have it freezed. :(

In God I Trust!

Janner - (12/19/2013 - 8:14pm)

I vote excised.  I would never allow freezing on this type of lesion but that's me.  In the future, I'd also suggest not allowing a shave on anything you suspect of melanoma.  This shave cut through the lesion.   And while that isn't critical on this lesion, "depth" is the most important staging factor in melanoma.  If the lesion is bisected, you can never know the true depth.  Personally, I vote for punch biopsies which are full skin thickness techniques.  Many docs prefer shaves, however, because they are quick and easy and require no stitches (or followup visits).  But it's my skin, not theirs.  So I get to call the shots.  Fortunately for me, my derm agrees.  One other thing I'd check, was the pathology report read by a dermatopathologist?  It sounds likely, but I want a skin pathologist to read mine, not a general pathologist.

Final word - you do what makes YOU comfortable, no one else.  You're the one that matters!  We can only give you our ideas and suggestions, but you have to be comfortable with your decisions - not us!

Best wishes


WendyD. - (12/19/2013 - 8:51pm)

The only thing that would make me comfortable is to have it excised. I go next Thursday to have my WLE done should I ask the doctor to go ahead and do that one too since I'm already there? And should I worry about this lesion being melanoma? Thanks for all the help Janner.

In God I Trust!

Janner - (12/19/2013 - 9:06pm)

No to melanoma, yes to being excised Thursday (or whenever).  I've been at this a long time, and that is what *I* would be doing.  Folow the pathologists recommendations- they understand the lesion best!

WendyD. - (12/19/2013 - 9:30pm)

Will do then and thanks again. :)


In God I Trust!

WendyD. - (12/26/2013 - 11:55am)

Well I finally had my WLE today and actually don't feel the greatest from it. But I guess that comes with it. As for the the other abnormal mole I had biopsied the doctor still doesn't want to excise it. He said that it showed no maglinancy , but he wants to keep an eye on it and if it shows something he gets concerned about he'll excise it then. But either way he will definitely freeze the rest out once it is healed from the biopsy shave. He did say it wasn't melanoma and didn't see a threat of it becoming melanoma. I asked more than once to be sure. He does this stuff all the time and seems very informative about the situation. So I will go by doctors orders.  Even though I really wanted it excised and have it over with. I see it as what if something does come of it and I have to have it excised later. I would have much whether had it done and over with now. But I guess you can't always have things your way. lol

In God I Trust!