Is an abnormal mole always cancer?

What does it mean when a mole biopsy comes back abnormal?

Medically speaking ‘atypical’ moles biopsied during a skin exam (most commonly a shave biopsy) are unusual-looking benign (noncancerous) moles. In atypical/precancerous results a pathologist sees abnormal features under the microscope but not enough to clinically diagnose the results as melanoma.

Can moles be irregular and not cancerous?

Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are unusual-looking moles that have irregular features under the microscope. Though benign, they are worth more of your attention because individuals with atypical moles are at increased risk for melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer.

How often are biopsied moles cancerous?

Lab testing showed that more than 90 percent of biopsied moles were completely removed by using the single procedure, with 11 (7 percent) diagnosed as melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer.

What percentage of mole biopsies are cancerous?

Results: The mean percentage of biopsies that were malignant was 44.5%. This varied by subspecialty with a mean of 41.7%, 57.4%, and 4.1% of biopsies performed by general dermatologists, Mohs micrographic surgeons, and pediatric dermatologists, respectively.

Should I be worried about an atypical mole?

Yes. An atypical mole that is itching, painful, swelling, crusting or oozing should be checked immediately by a dermatologist or other physician experienced with skin disorders.

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Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

What does a suspicious mole look like?

A mole that does not have the same color throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.

Do bad biopsy results come back quicker?

Most people will get the result of their breast biopsy within 7 to 10 days. Some people may get their results a bit sooner, and for some people it may be longer depending on whether more tests need to be done on the tissue.

Can a dermatologist tell if a mole is cancerous?

Unfortunately, you can’t tell by looking at a mole whether it’s cancerous or what type it is. It could very well be a normal skin spot with an abnormal appearance. A dermatologist can’t always tell the difference either.