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Pathology/Severe dysplastic nevus with pre-cancerous cells


Hi Doctor,  My dermatologist removed a small flat mole off my buttock last week during a routine exam. His office called today and said I needed to come back for a larger incision because the biopsy stated Severe dysplastic nevus with some pre-cancerous cells.  

The woman knew nothing else and my derm only comes to this area 2 afternoons a week. I'm terrified! What does this mean? Is this already dangerous or cancerous? Can this already be melanoma?

Hello Diane:

Dysplastic nevus (mole) is a mole which has cells which are atypical. These are made of cells neither entirely normal nor frankly cancer cells. These are somewhat in between. Some consider this pre-malignant. 2-8% of the population has dysplastic moles.

Higher the number of these moles and with positive family history of skin cancer (melanoma) there is a higher risk of melanoma than general population. Having said that its not clear how many of these can turn into skin cancer.

The ideal treatment is complete excision of the lesion, regular follow up and examination of any new moles whihc may develop.


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Neha Dahiya MD


Help patients understand the medical terminology of their lab results and / or tissue biopsy reports.


I am a pathologist and director of clinical laboratory services. I have been a practicing pathologist for last 9 years in a 350 bed multi specialty hospital laboratory in India.

Indian association of pathologists and microbiologists.
International Academy of Cytology
International association of Pathologists - Indian division
Indian association of Cytology

MD (pathology) MBA

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