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Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Multiple moles on back


 P812C - Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:38 pm

I am a 28-year-old male with a history of dysplastic moles. I have a family history of basal cell carcinoma but not melanoma. On my most recent skin check at the dermatologist, a shave biopsy was performed of a mole located on my back. Pathology showed mild melanocytic dysplasia with a junctional component of the nevus extending to a peripheral margin of the biopsy. Does granulation of the healing process following the shave biopsy destroy the residual mole or is follow-up excisional biopsy with clear margins recommended? Thank you.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:18 pm

User avatar Hi P812C,

The granulation of healing does not get rid of any remaining cells from the mole. If there was concern about the dysplasia possibly becoming cancerous and the entire area was not removed with clear margins, a repeat biopsy may be necessary. In this case, often a therapeutic currettage can be performed to help be sure that all the cells have been destroyed. This method does not allow for microscopic evaluation of margins, however; so if a melanoma was truly suspected a shave biopsy may be more appropriate.

If the initial biopsy did not get all the mole but did not have dysplastic cells in the margins it is a little less likely to need further removal and careful monitoring may be sufficient.

I would suggest you talk with your dermatologist or primary care doctor about the need for further biopsy. With either situation you will want to have good follow up and regular evaluation to look for any further concerning areas that may develop.

Best wishes.

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