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Review Article Addresses Nevi, Melanoma During Pregnancy

Researchers dispel confusion about impact of pregnancy-related hormones on skin lesions

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although confusion persists among practitioners about the impact of pregnancy and female hormones on melanocytic nevi and melanoma, recent studies offer guidance for effective management, according to a continuing medical education article published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Marcia S. Driscoll, M.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and a colleague reviewed recent clinical, epidemiological and laboratory studies addressing areas of concern, including nevi changes during pregnancy, the characteristics of melanomas in pregnant women, and treatment for pregnant women who are diagnosed with melanoma. Other areas of concern addressed in the review include how the diagnosis of melanoma affects the prognosis for women before, during or after pregnancy, and how to counsel women of childbearing age who are diagnosed with melanoma regarding future pregnancy, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.

The article answers nine common questions, beginning with "Do nevi typically change during pregnancy?"

"While there are no simple answers to the questions posed in this review, we attempted to provide reasonable responses based on our analysis of studies from the medical literature," the authors write. "First, changes in nevi during pregnancy should not be assumed to be physiologic, and a changing nevus during pregnancy should undergo biopsy without delay. Additional prospective studies of changes in nevi are needed, preferably with clinical examination, photography and digital dermoscopic images over the course of pregnancy."

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