Re: Pathology - Do I have Melanoma?
Hello! I am not a medical professional, but I did have a melanoma removed 6 years ago. From what this is stating - especially in the Results Summary - my thinking is that you had an atypical mole removed and your doctor is recommending a wide excision. The surgeon will look further at the pathology and let you know which way s/he thinks is best.
What does an atypical mole mean? Atypical moles are moles which may (operative word here is may) become cancerous at some point in the future. These moles could also very well remain just as they are for the remainder of your lifetime. And a secret? Every individual who has moles has at least one atypical mole on their body - that's how common they are. Now, some doctors will leave them alone and simply keep an eye on them and if they ever change, they will have them removed. Or, if already biopsied, they will simply leave the area alone. I've had a number of atypical moles removed as biopsies and have had no further attention to them.
Still other doctors, as a precaution, will elect to have the area excised to be certain the possibility of any melanoma cells are gone - even if there weren't any to begin with. The term "in-situ" in relation to melanoma, means a tumor is only in the outer layer of skin. This is typical staged at 0. You will note your summary states "just falling short of in-situ Melanoma." This would tell me your doctor feels you might be in a pre-cancerous condition. Some people panic over this, because they hear the word "cancer" in there. However, from what I understand, this is a condition that might become cancerous, or cancer may never materialize.
The important thing for you to do is to get all of your questions for the surgeon together and make certain you understand fully everything you will be told. Don't allow medical terms to baffle you. If you don't understand what is being said, say so. You will need to make decisions and it's best to be informed. Be your own best advocate!