I am freaking out!

Posted By
10/10/2017 4:27pm
Replies: 7

Ok, I am not the best patient in this world. I am really anxious and I am really not good at coping with health issues. Yesterday I went to a dermatologist (specilized in skin cancer) to check some dark spots on my face. Well those were nothing but I asked her to check a couple of moles and she found a slightly atypical mole I think I had for years but to be honest I am not sure if it changed recently or not.

She didn't seem concerned but she did a biopsy and now I have to wait. 


What I don't understand it's the language she used on the paperwork she gave me. Is slighlty atypical nevus a technical term (is there an official scale or what) or just a random description?


Janner - (10/10/2017 - 5:08pm)

So there are two things here:  clinical impression and pathological interpretation.  Her "impression" is the mole is slighly atypical.  Yes, that is her official interpretation based on a visual inspection.  But it is also a valid pathological diagnosis.  Well "slightly" isn't but in general you can have flavors of atypical moles - most typically the descriptions would be mild, moderate or severe.  So yes there is a scale on the pathology side although interpretation of that scale does rely on experience.  I honestly wouldn't spend too much time worrying about this - even if this came back with some atypia, it doesn't mean it is actually "cancer". 

jennunicorn - (10/10/2017 - 5:11pm)

Atypical nevus is a common term used for moles that have atypical characteristics. The pathology from the biopsy will show if it is mild, moderate, or severely atypical or if something else. But, don't stress too much, I know waiting for results sucks, but atypical moles are common so it's more likely to be that than something more serious like melanoma. Hang in there.

Jenn - stage IV NED - Completed Ipi/Nivo (Yervoy/Opdivo) + surgery

eni22 - (10/10/2017 - 5:21pm)

I always thought when I you have a suspicios mole you just go ahead and remove it. When the dermatologist told me about the biopsy I really got scared......

Janner - (10/10/2017 - 10:08pm)

Can't remember the exact figure,but over 90% of  "suspicous" lesions removed are NOT melanoma.  "Suspicious" can be suspicion for atypia but not really melanoma.  So a biopsy is absolutely nothing to worry about because, in all likelihood, the result is not melanoma.  Remember, derms make MONEY from doing biopsies, more than just for office visits.  Some derms are much more aggressive than others and aggressive doesn't always mean smart.  Was your mole new?  Changing?  An ugly duckling?  These are more important factors than just a quick glance by a derm.  I'd like a derm who talks things over and engages you to take an active part in monitoring your skin, takes pictures of  "slightly" abnormal looking moles or encourages you to do the same.  Then you have something to monitor for future change.  Again, the vast majority of biopsies done are not melanoma.

eni22 - (10/10/2017 - 10:51pm)

that's the problem.  ​I know I had that mole forever but at some point in the past 5 or 6 years it probably changed. I never noticed tho but I can't really say how much it changed. It was nothing horrible tho, it was just large but not bleeding, crusting etc...

MelanomaMike - (10/12/2017 - 1:30pm)

Hello Anonymous, all i can say at this point is GOOD LUCK! With your recent "skirmish" (will call it) with what may or may not be Melanoma. If theres a chance it is, please stick with MRF (this site your post is on) its full of great folks and a great portion can help with big med words & give opinions...prayers & good Vibes your way...Mike...

eni22 - (10/16/2017 - 1:48pm)

Just want to update. I received the call today with the biopsy result. It's benign. Thank you all for you answer though. I was able to spend the week in a more relaxed way after reading some of your comment. I will take care of my skin way better from now on.