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Squamous Cell Atypia on arm
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Squamous Cell Atypia on arm

Hello! I had a tiny (and less than 2 mm in size) on my arm that was biopsied after it went away and came back.  The biopsy states it is a "wart with squamous cell atypia" and further states it is beyond the excision borders.  (My doc did a very, very tiny biopsy of this spot).  The nurse called to tell me these pathology results and then she said I need to have it completely removed asap.  I asked her if this was cancer, and she said, "Oh yes!  squamous cell is cancer!"  Well, I know that there is a squamous cell layer of skin, but does ATYPIA really mean CANCER?  I asked her to have the doc call me.  My derm did return my call and stated that a HPV virus caused this and that she could remove it with no problems through a little excision (not Moh's surgery). She said she'll remove margins of what she'd already removed and then send it to the pathologist to make sure it's "free and clear."  Well, that was like hitting me with 2 dx in one day....cancer and HPV.  How in the world did I get HPV?  My husband and I have only slept with each other in our lives so it can't be through sexual transmission, and the other thing is that this is on my arm!  And the place on my arm is tiny.  I thought the worst it could be was an AK...and now squamous cell cancer, possibly?

So....what does atypia mean?
How do you get HPV in your arm?  
Finally, my surgery is not scheduled for another month and a half (the earliest she can get me in).  Is that too long to wait?  

I asked a nurse friend, who has worked in dermatology, and she said that the pathology report sounded like one from a cervical biopsy, and from what I can find my googling, that's all that comes up with I google the report "squamous cell atypia from hpv".  Could my pathology report have gotten confused with someone else's report?

Thanks for any help anyone can give.
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So sorry to hear you are going through this stress. I did a bit of reading but I'm not an expert by any means and would suggest you write your questions down and make sure you get answers from your doctor (not the nurse, no offense to any nurses on here).

It looks like HPV can just be plain old boring warts that can occur anywhere on your skin.
AK and SCC are very similar and there seems to be the view they are a bit like cervical cells in that only some ak will progress to SCC. SCC is slow growing and has low risk of spreading so that length of time before your "thing" is removed isn't a problem. I understand you are querying whether atypia actually means SCC or not but from what I read it depends on the layers of skin that have the atypia. Best to treat yours and completely remove it now that you've identified it. Many people have this sort of thing and never get it biopsied so they're not sure how many really exist out there. Either way good on you for getting onto it. Get it removed and then forget about it apart from your regular check-ups.

Take care and be kind to yourself while you're worrying.
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