Oncology (General Cancer)/Breslow depth of melanoma

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Question
I read that the "Breslow's depth" staging considers the total vertical height (height above the skin surface plus depth below the skin surface) in determining staging of melanoma skin cancer.

But how can one estimate the total height based on just looking at the height above the skin surface? Would the height generally about equal the depth (i.e., a mole about .5 MM above the skin surface would also have a .5 depth and therefore a 1MM total vertical height for the Breslow staging?

Answer
The method used in pathology is like this. First the WHOLE mole - the suspected melanoma - has to be removed surgically. Under the microscope the specimen is then turned sidewise towards the viewer and its thickness is measured. I do hope this explains it!



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Oncology (General Cancer)

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.

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Questions concerning Cancer, Oncology, radiation Therapy, Tumours, Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic Drugs, Hormonal Therapy, Radiation Protection.

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I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions in the number of questions there. I also answer questions in these other categories: General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

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