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Do twenty atypical moles or twenty moles be an indication of FAMM? Does the severity matter in terms of risk of melanoma?

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Practicing since : 1980
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I think I heard my dermatologist say if someone has 20 atyplical moles on each forearm, that could be an indication of FAMM. But, I am not sure if he said 20 atypical moles or 20 moles. Do you know?
Also, does the severity of the atypical matter in terms of potential risk for future melanoma?

Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Skin Cancer
Answered by Dr. P V S Prasad 8 hours later

I went through your history. Familial atypical mole or melanoma (FAMM) syndrome includes positive family history of melanomas or a tendency to develop multiple dysplastic nevi. Dysplastic nevi mean atypical moles. They are large pigmented lesions size measuring from 5 to 10 mm in diameter and they show irregular borders or ill defined.
Atypical moles may appear anywhere.

In FAMM syndrome the lesions should be more than 100 altogether.

A biopsy should be done to confirm atypical moles.

I hope I clarified your doubts.

Good day.

Prasad pvs

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Do twenty atypical moles or twenty moles be an indication of FAMM? Does the severity matter in terms of risk of melanoma? 13 hours later
Thank you for your response.
Is that 100 atypical moles or just 100 moles?
I do not have anyone in my family with melanoma. I have had 5 mildly atypical moles.

I have been to two dermatologist that do not see anything else of concern.
However, as I begin to look at my moles, I feel they are all weird. I probably have about 20 or less moles over my entire body. None are larger than 1-2 mm. But, I worry that some could be atypical. If they were all atypical that could put me in the FAMM risk area is that right?
Answered by Dr. P V S Prasad 16 hours later
Thanks for writing back.
To put you into the category for FAMM, the number of moles should be more than 100. These are just normal moles and not necessary atypical moles. If you do not have any family history of this condition, the chances of you having it are remote.
The following changes in a mole can be possibly indicative of a malignancy:
a.     Atypical changes
b.     Enlarging borders
c.     Rough contours
d.     A diameter of >1.5 cm
Further, if these changes are present, a skin biopsy needs to be done to make a diagnosis of a malignancy.
I would like to reassure you that you do not need to worry at present. I suggest that you have an annual check up to rule out dysplastic ( changes possibly suggestive of malignancy) changes in the moles.
I hope I have addressed your concerns.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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