Do I have Melanoma?

Melanoma, though rare, is the most serious form of skin cancer.  It can be difficult to diagnose and an early and accurate diagnosis is a critical first step in getting the treatment you need. Even the most experienced dermatopathologists (healthcare professionals who specialize in examining skin tissue) encounter situations in which a definitive diagnosis can be difficult to provide.1,2

At Myriad, we’ve seen the power of genetic insight to expose cancer risk and change lives. We set out to answer the need for greater certainty in diagnosing melanoma.  Myriad myPath® Melanoma is a new test that is available to help dermatopathologists make a more definitive diagnosis.

Diagnosing Melanoma

When you find a suspicious mole on your body, you make an appointment with a dermatologist to have the mole examined. If the dermatologist deems it necessary to remove the mole (skin biopsy), the biopsy is then sent to a dermatopathologist for evaluation.

Dermatopathologists are highly trained physicians who specialize in diagnosing skin disorders under a microscope. The dermatopathologist examines the biopsy and reports the diagnosis to your dermatologist

Early diagnosis is critical for long-term survival. Only 10–15 percent of patients with advanced disease survive longer than five years.3

melanoma 5- and 10-year survival rate by cancer stage

Understanding Myriad myPath® Melanoma

Occasionally, the current techniques do not allow doctors to definitively determine whether a mole on your skin is cancerous (melanoma) or not. The myPath Melanoma test can help doctors make this distinction by providing additional analysis of the mole at the genetic level.

If a dermatopathologist orders myPath Melanoma, he or she will interpret the myPath Melanoma test result along with the information obtained by examining the mole under the microscope to provide a final diagnosis.

Learn more about Myriad myPath Melanoma.

References

1. Shoo B, et al. Discordance in the histopathologic diagnosis of melanoma at a melanoma referral center. Am Acad Dermatol 2010;620:751-6.

2. Lodha S, et al. Discordance in the histopathologic diagnosis of difficult melanocytic neoplasms in the clinical setting. J Cutan Pathol 2008;35:349–352.

3. American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org. Accessed December 2013.