Does Healthy Skin Around Suspicious Moles Need Removal?

Does Healthy Skin Around Suspicious Moles Need Removal?

If you're having a suspicious mole removed, the doctor should consider removing about 2 millimeters of healthy skin from around the mole. Doing so could avoid the need for a second surgery if the mole turns out to be cancerous, according to a new report.

Mental Health Does Not Come With A Manual, It Comes With Friends & Family Support That Never Gives Up!
Join now

In the study, researchers removed about 150 suspicious moles from nearly 140 men and women. All of them had at least 2 millimeters (mm) of skin removed around the outside edges of the moles. Doctors call that healthy skin from around the mole "the margin."

"Although the vast majority of suspicious-looking skin moles do not turn out to be cancerous melanomas, once a decision has been made to remove a mole, there should be a clearer standard margin," said senior study investigator Dr. David Polsky. He is a dermatologist and professor of dermatologic oncology at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

Polsky noted that most surgeons remove either just the darkest portion of a suspicious mole or, when removing the entire mole, cut out an imprecise 1-mm margin around the mole's edge.

In the new study, 90 percent of the moles were completely removed with a single procedure. Seven percent of the moles were diagnosed as melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer.

Over a follow-up of about 18 months, none of the patients had any further suspicious growths at the surgery sites, the study found.

"Our study shows that a 'one and done' approach with a clearly defined, slightly larger margin is safer and more effective in completely removing suspicious moles with a single procedure than the current non-standardized approach," Polsky said in an NYU Langone news release.

As many as two-thirds of the hundreds of thousands of suspicious moles removed each year in the United States require further surgery because cancerous mole cells were missed during the first surgery, according to the researchers.

The Internet's Most Trusted Source For Mental Health Information
Sign up

These second procedures increase the risk of infection, bleeding and scarring, and also lead to higher costs, the study authors pointed out.

Findings from the study were published Oct. 2 in the Journal of the Academy of Dermatology.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute explains skin cancer screening.


Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Related Content

What If Your Anxiety & Depression Is Really A Sign Of ADHD?
What If Your Anxiety & Depression Is Really A Sign Of ADHD?

More often than not, when a person over the age of 10 is diagnosed with attentio...

Read more
New Patent By OxyContin Maker May Treat Pain But Comes With Addictive Potential
New Patent By OxyContin Maker May Treat Pain But Comes With Addictive Potential

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has received a patent designed to treat o...

Read more
Why Are Transgenders Experiencing More Mental Health Issues Than The General Public?
Why Are Transgenders Experiencing More Mental Health Issues Than The General Public?

Individuals who identify as transgender tend to experience higher rates of menta...

Read more
New Research In Schizophrenia Shows That A Video Game Can Aid In Preventing Hallucinations
New Research In Schizophrenia Shows That A Video Game Can Aid In Preventing Hallucinations

People with schizophrenia can be trained by playing a video game to control the ...

Read more
I was 12 When I Survived 9-11 But My Peers & I Are Only Now Realizing Our PTSD
I was 12 When I Survived 9-11 But My Peers & I Are Only Now Realizing Our PTSD

As the Twin Towers burned and eventually collapsed on 9/11, I was running from m...

Read more
How Running Helped These Everyday People Beat OCD, Depression & Anxiety
How Running Helped These Everyday People Beat OCD, Depression & Anxiety

When documentary photographer Martin Eberlen was diagnosed with ADHD in his earl...

Read more