How to Discuss Equivocal Melanocytic Neoplasms with Patients

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Clay Cockerell

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Abstract

While fortunately relatively rare, occasionally a dermatologist will biopsy a pigmented lesion, submit it to the dermatopathologist and a diagnosis is rendered that is equivocal for one reason or another.  One of the more perplexing cases is when it comes back as “atypical Spitzoid melanocytic neoplasm,” especially when the patient is not a young child.  As a clinical dermatologist and dermatopathologist, I have had experience in rendering these diagnoses as well as counseling patients who have received such diagnoses.

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