Can Dysplastic Nevi Result in Metastatic Melanoma?

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Excision of Dysplastic Nevi is prompted by an uncertain malignancy potential and the fear of undertreating an evolving malignant melanoma (MM)…

Rather than worrying about DN /atypical moles, consider evidence-based, non-toxic, therapies to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

According to the info posted and excerpted below, yes atypical moles are more likely than ordinary moles to become melanoma. So if you identify an atypical mole you may have it removed by your dermatologist.

Picture of Dysplastic Nevi (Atypical Moles)Fine. Problem solved… Maybe. The challenge, according to the Medscape article below, is that pathologists don’t agree on which moles may or may not be at risk for developing into melanoma.

I have six of the melanoma risk factors listed below. My shoulders, chest and upper body look like the photo to the left.

Melanoma at a glance-

  • Risks UV Exposure, HPV, Genetics, Skin Pigment, Moles, Immunosuppression, Previous Skin Cancer Diagnosis, 
  • Symptoms- Mole, Shape (A,B,C,D,E), Itching, Bleeding, 
  • Diagnosis- Visual Inspection, Skin Biopsy, 
  • Prognosis Staging, In-situ, I, II, III, IV,  Five year survival rates
  • Therapy Conventional, Non-Conventional, Integrative, Alternative

I had a mole appear on my face seemingly out of nowhere a few years ago. After watching this mole grow and darken I got nervous and had it removed by my dermatologist. If it returns I will have it re-excised” aka cut it off again. But rather than examine my skin repeatedly I have decided to add evidence-based, non-toxic therapies to my day. Nutrition, supplementation, lifestyle, etc.

I am am both a long-term survivor of an incurable cancer called multiple myeloma and cancer coach. I have learned to rely on multiple evidence-based but non-conventional therapies to manage my blood cancer and possible secondary cancer including melanoma.

Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Dysplastic nevus

“A dysplastic nevus or atypical mole is a nevus (mole) whose appearance is different from that of common moles. An atypical mole may also be referred to as an


According to the National Cancer Institute, researchers have shown that atypical moles are more likely than ordinary moles to develop into a type of skin cancer called melanoma. It is worth noting that the vast majority of atypical moles will never become malignant. However, numerous studies indicate that about half of melanomas arise from atypical moles. Evidence supporting this connection arises from clinical photodocumentation of evolving lesions, patient self-reports of changing lesions, pathology studies showing dysplastic nevi in histologic contiguity with melanoma, and epidemiology studies indicating that about half of individuals affected by melanoma also have atypical moles. Epidemiology studies have also shown that individuals with multiple dysplastic nevi are at much higher risk for developing melanomas…

Are We Overtreating Severely Dysplastic Nevi?

” Dermatopathologists typically use these histopathologic features to grade “gray area” melanocytic neoplasms as mild, moderate, or severe. However, agreement among dermatopathologists is surprisingly low, ranging from 35% to 58%.[1]

Excision of DN is prompted by an uncertain malignancy potential and the fear of undertreating an evolving malignant melanoma (MM), but re-excised DN are rarely upgraded histologically to MM; data show that this happens in 0%-2.7% of cases.[4] In contrast, a consensus has evolved that mildly to moderately DN should be clinically followed rather than excised due to the negligible risk for recurrent or metastatic disease, even in cases with positive margins.[5]

Consistent with the 2015 recommendations by the MPWG, most severely dysplastic nevi (SDN) are re-excised, even when margins are negative. But is this necessary or over treatment?…”


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