If your doctor identifies your moles as atypical, or if new moles appear after age 40, you may need a biopsy of one or more. This means the doctor removes all or part of the mole for examination under a microscope.
Some physicians, in fact, believe that almost all atypical moles pose a risk of turning into melanoma and should be removed (excised completely), but others believe in removing only those at high risk of becoming melanoma. Either way, regular monitoring is crucial if you have atypical moles, so that if one does develop into a melanoma, it can be detected and treated as early as possible.
Leonard H. Goldberg, MD
Mark Lebwohl, MD