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Doctor insights on: What Does Melanoma Mean

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What does it mean if someone has stage four melanoma?

What does it mean if someone has stage four melanoma?

Advanced stage: It means that is has spread to a distant organ (lung, bone, brain, etc...) I am sorry if you are in this situation. Please seek help from a cancer center with experience in melanoma. They can ofer the the most advanced treatments and offer you a clinical trial if you are a candidate. ...Read more

Dr. Mike Bowman
887 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common are: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use & ...Read more


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If I had a shave biopsy and the underlying skin wasn't brown does that mean the melanoma did not spread down into the lower skin?

If I had a shave biopsy and the underlying skin wasn't brown does that mean the melanoma did not spread down into the lower skin?

A pathologist needs: ... to look at the biopsy material under a microscope to see if the margins are clear of tumor cells. The outward appearance of the biopsy site is not reliable. ...Read more

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When biopsied mole comes back atypical does this mean that the mole would have for sure turned into melanoma? Have had 2 "slightly atypical" - scared!

When biopsied mole comes back atypical does this mean that the mole would have for sure turned into melanoma? Have had 2 "slightly atypical" - scared!

Watch carefully: Atypical means the cells are not completely normal. Depending on degree, can be pre-cancerous. See a dermatologist. Ask to have the pathology specimen re-read by a dermatopathologist. Just to be safe. If still atypical, follow the area closely with a dermatologist. ...Read more

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Does a mole on on skin (from childhood) that changed to 2 different colors mean melanoma in 40 yers old?

Does a mole on on skin (from childhood) that changed to 2 different colors mean melanoma in 40 yers old?

Possibly: Any change in a mole needs to be addressed. Make an appointment tomorrow with your doctor or a dermatologist or surgeon. This requires a biopsy. ...Read more

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Derm noted 3 moles on back. All 3mm or under. One shade and pretty much round or oval. He said slightly dysplastic so best to remove now .. What does that mean ... Are they likely to be melanoma?

Derm noted 3 moles on back.  All 3mm or under.  One shade and pretty much round or oval.   He said slightly dysplastic so best to remove now ..   What does that mean ... Are they likely to be melanoma?

Never know: No one know for sure until a biopsy comes back, which provides definitive diagnosis. Melanoma often tends to be very dark. It sounds like you may have some "basic" lesions that just need to be evaluated further as recommended by your derm. Best wishes. ...Read more

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What does it mean to have a malignant melanoma in your eye? Can it be treated?

What does it mean to have a malignant melanoma in your eye? Can it be treated?

Retinal cancer: Melanoma can occur in the retina of the eye, technically in the uvea. The treatment is either surgery or radiation. Go to a specialist who treats this often. ...Read more

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Mole grew back 6 weeks after shave. Report compound melanocytic nevus architectural disorder moderate cytologic atypia. What's this mean, melanoma ?

Seek 2nd opinion: Recurrence of a mole makes it likely that it is a melanoma. You should get further surgery done by a melanoma expert(surgical Oncologist). It always useful to seek 2 or 3 opinions and go with the aggregate of the recommendation, provided to you. ...Read more

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My husband has a melanoma on the right side of his stomach. Blood work, X-ray and pet scan are normal. Does that mean it is not nessery for a node biopsy?

My husband has a melanoma on the right side of his stomach. Blood work, X-ray and pet scan are normal. Does that mean it is not nessery for a node biopsy?

Not necessarily: The decision to perform a sentinel node biopsy hinges on factors in the original melanoma biopsy and is not affected by "negative" x-rays or scans because only sentinel node biopsy can detect microscopic disease in lymph nodes. ...Read more

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If moles are full of melanin, does that mean an existing mole if exposed to uv radiation won't turn to melanoma?

No, risk remains: 'moles' on the skin are nevi, essentially benign but abnormal collections or growths of melanocytes in the dermis (the layer just under the epidermis) and sometimes also in the epidermis. Uv light damages the dna in cells and when it does so in melanocytes in nevi they may be transformed into melanomas. The pigment does not protect the cells. ...Read more

Dr. Travis Kidner
2,557 doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

Melanoma iscancer of melanocytes. Melanocytesare cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. These cells predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can originate in any part of the ...Read more