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Mole biopsy atypical cells? What does it mean?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

They didn't give me more info than they rate cells from normal to severe and mine was spank in the middle. They want me to come back in 4 weeks to have more surrounding tissue removed. Why not sooner? I have an appointment in 2 weeks to have a larger mole removed and they don't want to do it at the same time. Does it mean they don't take this seriously enough or am I overreacting? I'm scared to death right now that my children will have no mother soon.

post #2 of 13

I don't know your details, but I think I can offer some reassurance. I'm not a doctor but I've had atypical moles removed - 7 of them, actually, over my life.


I don't think it's an emergency. 4 weeks should be fine. It's not kidney cancer, it's just atypical skin cells. Not cancer. Just cells that COULD be PREcancerous (and honestly might never BE cancerous).


As I've said, I've had 7 moles removed (and 1 of them had 2 surgeries, since they didn't get it all the first time). Only one of them came off right away, the others involved appointments made for weeks in the future. So it's typical timeline-wise. It really should be fine, mama.

post #3 of 13

Don't panic!  You're fine.  I've had everything from normal moles to melanoma and everything in between. 


Abnormal cells do not mean cancer.  You have a moderate dysplastic mole.  It means that the mole is showing some cellular change but, it is not cancer and it may never turn into cancer but, just to be sure, they're going to take a larger area just to make sure they get all the abnormal cells.  I've had to do this multiple times.  It's not a big deal.  But, the fact that you've had a dysplastic mole increases your chance of melanoma.   So, it's important to be vigilant in watching your body,insisting that anything you don't like be biopsied and getting regular skin checks. 


Why they're not doing it at the same time as the other mole is beyond me.  Both should be in office procedures.  I would call and ask to speak with the doctor, office manager - someone who can explain why they wouldn't do it at the same time - that's really odd.  I've had multiple biopsies and a couple excisions (what you're having) all at the same time.  It's literally minutes to both remove the mole and to do the excision.  I'd insist on them doing them at the same time.

post #4 of 13

I had a mole removed that had atypical cells.  The only thing the dermatology nurse would say was 'it doesn't require further treatment' and absolutely refused to elaborate.  So I talked to my primary care provider to try to get more information and she wouldn't really say anything either.  She seemed like she was just trying to pacify me.  So I demanded the actual lab report to read it myself.  The mole had melanocytes that were enlarged with enlarged nuclei and they didn't get it all.  There was no numbering system used. 


Abnormal does not mean cancer.  It could become cancer, but it could just as easily never become cancerous. 


What irritates me though is the lack of sharing important information with me.  I imagine they didn't want to scare me or make me worry over 'nothing'.  But having abnormal melanocytes DOES put me at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, and that is information that I should have.  I need to keep an eye on my skin and protect myself from too much sun exposure (which I already do). 


Also look into some research has been done using essential oil of frankincense to treat melanoma. 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your answers, I feel much better! I must say they gave me so little information that I had no idea what was going on. I mean if all someone on the phone says hey your cells are atypical come back to remove more tissue it sound scary. They did remove the entire mole, but now want to cut more regular skin out around it to be safe I suppose. They do not want to do it the same day as the other surgery so they can pull the stitches from the first surgery during the second one (the logic escapes me). But anyhow, the removal of extra skin can be done at the office, so at that point I will have her check every mole one by one and remove anything else she thinks looks atypical. Last time they just glanced over it and decided to take 6 out (I have about a gazillion).

post #6 of 13

That's really ridiculous.  Why not do them all at the same time so you can have all the stitches removed at the same time.  It's crazy to have to keep going back.  

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

It was the scheduling person's lack of explanation skills... I went in for the removal of the larger ones on my belly (1cm and .5cm in diameter) which was done in the OR they have on site because it needs stitches. The doc was really nice and was a little baffled too that they wouldn't want her to cut out the extra skin tissue right there, but there was no time, she apologized. I must say this time I felt pain when they removed the one on top of my lowest rib, she said when there's no fat the lidocaine doesn't work as well. Yikes. She did the stitches below the skin so there will be no stitch removal and taped it shut with steristrips. I'm glad she did it like this to minimize scars. I still will go back at the end of the months and I had them schedule a full skin check at that time (incl. head and toes).

post #8 of 13

Gosh, I'm sorry that was your experience.  I had melanoma and go to the Derm every three months and I've never had  an experience like that.  It doesn't sound like your Derm's office is very patient friendly.   I don't know if you have a copay but, all those office visit copays really add up.  Most doctors will try to minimize them so you're not paying so much out of pocket.  Plus, if they're removing moles, they should have already done a head to toe check.  I can not believe they're making you go back in AGAIN to have a mole check.   I've had mole checks and biopsies in the same visit - and I've had additional excisions done all in one visit.  I would not be happy about having to do all those appointments.  But, I guess the most important thing is to make sure you're healthy.  Thinking good thoughts!


post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I never thought about that! I have no copays, but I loose valuable time - DH is barely home and I scheduled the visits for when he is home so he can watch the kiddos. There are only 2 derm offices in town, I tried the first 2 years ago and he only looked at one mole for about 0.2 seconds before he shooed me out (office was a big ad for Latisse and Botox, I guess I wasn't important). I then forgot to schedule another appointment throughout my pregnancy... I do have to go to the base doctor (military) to get approval first, and this time I tackled it and explicitely asked for a referral to the other practice. I can't say any bad things about the docs, they were nice and took me seriously, but omitted a full check. I'm still happy though compared to the other guy who wouldn't even ponder removing any moles. I realize it's not an optimal situation... Actually I insisted on a full head to toe check next time, I mean I had atypical cells, so I insist on a full check and cut out everything you just think might look funny. Their office is really busy, it's rough sometimes in these small remote towns. If I contrast that to my care back in college in Munich, it was much different (head to toe checks were standard and the doc removed the mole right away back then, stitching and bandaging without a nurse present).

The thing I learned though is to be persistent, I don't care if I end up with 100 scars, I want all that stuff gone. And I will be annoyingly persistent in making them do what I want.

post #10 of 13

I just had two biopsies come back diagnosed as atypical skin cells.  One was mild to moderate atypical akin cells, the other was moderate to severe atypical. The doctor

is testing further to make sure there are no cancer cells.  Did I catch this early enough before it becomes cancer?  Someone please answer ASAP.

I am a true worrier.

post #11 of 13

Oh Mama, I'm sorry - I've been through this several times so I know it's scary but, there is no point in worrying about something that hasn't happened yet.  Wait for your test results and then go from there. 


I have a lot of experience with biopsies - from normal moles all the way to melanoma.  So, if you want to talk, PM me.  I'm happy to try to answer any questions you might have.  


Think positive!!!  There is a lot of power in staying positive. 


post #12 of 13

Please Help!! My sister just had a mole removed and the doctor left her a message saying "Call me, I need to talk to you about the Biopsy" my sister heard the message too late in the afternoon and was not able to talk to the doctor, so now she has to wait until Monday :( We are all nervous wrecks... what could be going on!?

post #13 of 13
Thank you all sooooo much! My 4 year old daughter was "diagnosed " with this today or rather I was informed of this non-information. The receptionist they had call me knew nothing and although she was compassionate she did not know the answer to any of my questions. I have two dear friends fighting desperately against skin cancer right now and I couldn't do the wait for info game any longer. You all saved me before I totally lost it smile.gif I've now joined the community and am in debt to you all smile.gif
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