Thursday, July 13, 2017

24 skin biopsies, 8 dysplastic nevus (moles), 3 severely dysplastic (atypical) requiring wide local excisions, 0 melanoma--Staying on top of it.

Reading a skin pathology report. In my search to find the answers to these questions I have noticed that it is VERY hard to find the answer the answers in layman's terms so I am going to take a stab at it. Disclaimer--I am not a doctor. I'm just a patient that has had 24 skin biopsies (give or take a few). I've been very confused in the past. 

What is the difference between benign, dysplastic/atypical, and melanoma?

Benign=not cancerous/malignant
Dysplastic/atypical=in between benign and cancer
Melanoma=cancer

Are their different kinds/stages of dysplastic nevus? 

Yes there are many kinds (I have no idea how many kinds but your path report should show you) and stages (for lack of any better way to describe this). This is how I see severity in my brain. 
  • Benign-you are GOOD!
  • Mildly dysplastic (you will see the words mild atypia or mild somewhere) -ALMOST BENIGN
  • Moderately dysplastic (look for the word moderate)- SMACK DAB IN BETWEEN benign and cancer, Drs. will probably look to see that margins were cleared
  • Severely dysplastic (look for the words severe)- ALMOST CANCER, Drs. will consider wide local excision to ensure that no almost cancer cells are left behind
  • MELANOMA 0
  • MELANOMA I
  • MELANOMA II
  • MELANOMA III
  • MELANONA IV

  • Clear as mud???
  • HERE IS MY LATEST WIDE LOCAL EXCISON after the stiches were out. THIS WAS A SEVERELY DYSPLASTIC JUNCTIONAL NEVUS




THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE BEFORE MY BIOPSY. My Dr. told me that the spots spreading away are a sign of a blistering sunburn (that I had 1 year ago) and that is why we looked under the micro lens thingy and decided to biopsy it.

I go to the derm every 6 years. He is very skilled at finding these. So far I remain cancer free but this may be a full time job.

If you are reading this and have NOT ever had a mole check I advise you do find a dermatologist and get one. Get a baseline check. Get advice from a doctor. That is my advice always. Do not mess around and look for answers on the interweb! You won't find them. ;) 

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