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Report Produced: 03/23/2023 11:13 AM

Report Question ID Question Discussion Answer (Ascending)

MP/H Rules/Multiple primaries--Melanoma: Is a melanoma with an unknown laterality a different laterality for the purposes of applying Multiple Primaries/Histology Rule M4? See Discussion.

8/1/2016 Left Abdomen biopsy: Early melanoma in situ (C445-2, 8720/2).

9/2/2016 Upper back: Superficially invasive malignant melanoma (C445-9, 8720/3).

Does rule M4 apply and multiple primaries should be reported or does rule M8 apply and a single primary should be reported?

Abstract multiple primaries following Multiple Primary Rule M4. Unknown laterality is a different laterality for the purposes of applying the MP/H rules for melanoma.

NOTE: This answer applies to cases diagnosed prior to 2018. As of 1/1/2018, early melanoma is not reportable.


Solid Tumor Rules (2018, 2021)/Histology--Melanoma: How is histology coded for an invasive melanoma with multiple subtype/variants? See Discussion.

Rule H8 of the Melanoma Solid Tumor Rules states that multiple variants of melanoma in one tumor are rare and a question must be submitted to Ask a SEER Registrar (AASR) for the correct histology code. However, our facility has seen a number of these cases in 2021 and would like to track the official answer and make it available to all in this format.

How should histology be coded for the following?

1. January 2021 diagnosis of left shoulder invasive malignant melanoma, histologic type: nodular and desmoplastic types per College of American Pathologists (CAP) summary of punch biopsy.

2. May 2021 shave biopsy of left arm invasive malignant melanoma, superficial spreading and nodular variant is listed in the CAP summary.

3. June 2021 diagnosis of right cheek invasive malignant melanoma, histologic subtype: superficial spreading and nodular seen on CAP summary of shave biopsy.

According to our dermopathology expert, code the histology to nodular melanoma 8721/3. There are numerous possible combinations of melanomas and the correct code depends on the types/variants present. We are currently working on a "Combined/Mixed Histology Code" Table for melanoma; however, it will likely not inlcude all possible combinations so continue submitting your questions to Ask A SEER Registrar. 


Surgery Primary Site--Melanoma: How should Surgery of Primary Site be coded for a melanoma diagnosed on punch or shave biopsy followed by a wide excision that shows no residual disease and the gross wide excision specimen size showing no residual is greater than 1 cm in all dimensions (length, width and depth)? See Discussion.

Discussion: Example: Shave biopsy with superficial spreading melanoma, Breslow 0.25 mm, Clark level II. Excision with no residual melanoma and gross description of specimen size is 4.0 x 1.6 cm skin ellipse excised to a depth of 1.8 cm.

We have differing opinions in our registry.

Opinion 1: We can assume margins are greater than 1 cm based on the excision specimen size when there is no residual tumor on excision and all dimensions of the excision specimen are more than 1 cm. Surgery would be coded in 40s range.

Opinion 2: We should assume the melanoma defect was in the middle of the excision specimen, so for a skin ellipse that is 4.0 x 1.6 cm, there would be a 2 cm and 0.8 cm margin (respectively) from the middle of the specimen, thus margins are not > 1 cm. Surgery would be coded in 30s range.

Assign code 30: Biopsy of primary tumor followed by a gross excision of the lesion. The margins are unknown. The registrar should not try to determine the margins when they are not specified. See the SEER Note at the top of page 2 in the Skin Surgery Codes section of Appendix C of the SEER manual "If it is stated to be a wide excision or reexcision, but the margins are unknown, code to 30."


Solid Tumor Rules (2018, 2021)/Histology--Melanoma: In what situation will Rule H4 be used to code the histology to regressing melanoma? See Discussion.

Rule H4 states: Code 8723/3 (malignant melanoma, regressing) when the diagnosis is regressing melanoma. However, if the diagnosis was strictly regressing melanoma or malignant melanoma, regressing, the first rule that applies is Rule H1 because regressing melanoma is a single, specific histologic type and Rule H1 states: Code the histology when only one histologic type is identified. Following the current rules, one would never arrive at Rule H4. Should the H Rules be reordered? Or should an example of when one would use Rule H4 be added to clarify when to use this rule?

Coding regressing melanoma has been an issue as registrars may not realize it is a reportable histology. Hence, H4 was written to reinforce correct histology. A note will be added to H1 instructing registrars to continue thru rules when the diagnosis is regressing melanoma.


Reportability--Melanoma: Is the final diagnosis for an excisional skin biopsy of "compound nevus with severe cytoarchitectural atypia and regression" reportable if a re-excision may be clinically indicated because there is an "overlap of morphology between malignant melanoma and nevi with severe atypia, and there's evidence of regression"?

Compound nevus with severe atypia is not reportable unless also stated to be malignant melanoma or melanoma in situ.

20071040 MP/H Rules/Multiple Primaries--Melanoma: Is there a difference between multiple primary rules M6 and M7 because both rules state that tumors occurring more than 60 days apart are to be reported as multiple primaries? See Discussion.

Rule M6 clearly states that an invasive melanoma occurring more than 60 days after an in situ melanoma is a multiple primary. However M7 states that any melanomas diagnosed more than 60 days apart are multiple primaries. Since M7 does not state malignant melanomas diagnosed more than 60 days apart, this implies that any scenario:

in situ following an invasive,

invasive following an in situ,

in situ following an in situ,

or invasive following an invasive

are all multiple primaries if more than 60 days apart. If that is the intent of M7, then M6 is totally unnecessary. If the intent of M7 is only for an invasive following an invasive, then the word malignant needs to be inserted as the first word of rule M7.

For cases diagnosed 2007 or later, M7 is intended to apply to in situ and invasive melanomas. Therefore, M6 and M7 are repetitive.

This will be corrected when revisions are made to the MP/H rules. In the meantime, both M6 and M7 result in multiple primaries so it does not matter which rule is used.

20081044 MP/H Rules/Behavior--Melanoma of Skin: How are histology and behavior coded for a "malignant melanoma in situ with regression"? See Discussion. Per the microscopic portion of the path report, there is a zone of regression within the confines of the lesion, such that the possibility of antecedent invasive disease at the site cannot be ruled out with certainty.

For cases diagnosed 2007 or later:

Code malignant melanoma in situ with regression to 8720/2 [Melanoma in situ].

Code the histology according to the histologic type specified in the pathology report final diagnosis. Code the behavior as specified in the pathology report. Regression does not affect the coding of histology or behavior. See Melanoma Histology Coding rule H5. See 2007 SEER manual instructions for coding behavior, page 84.

20081045 MP/H Rules--Melanoma: How is histology coded for a regressing melanoma? See Discussion.

How is histology to be coded for the following tumors?

Example 1: Path showed malignant melanoma Histologic type: superficial spreading. Regression: present.

Example 2: Shave, mid back: malignant melanoma, lentigo melanoma type, level II, regression: present and prominent.

For cases diagnosed 2007-2014:

Apply MP/H Melanoma Histology Coding rule H5 and code the histologic type of the melanoma.

Code example 1 as 8743 [Superficial spreading melanoma].

Code example 2 as 8742 [Lentigo maligna melanoma].


Surgery of Primary Site--Melanoma: How is Surgery of Primary Site coded when a path specimen is labeled as a “staged excision” for a cutaneous melanoma. See Discussion.

Patient was diagnosed on biopsy with lentigo maligna melanoma of the nasal dorsum. The only available documentation of the subsequent surgery is a single pathology report with the nasal dorsum “staged excision (debulking specimen)” and four additional “staged excision” specimens of the same site.

Is it safe to assume this is a Mohs surgery? Would it be safe to assume staged excisions of sites other than skin of face, are also Mohs surgery?

Interpret a "staged excision" for cutaneous melanoma as a type of Mohs surgery.

Skin surgery codes are currently under review and revision.  Document details in available text fields.


EOD 2018/Primary tumor--Melanoma: The code and level translations in the Note 4 of Extent of Disease (EOD) Primary Tumor for Melanoma Skin seem incorrect. Please advise.

* Code 000: In situ

* Code 100: Level I (should be level II) (< 0.75 mm Breslow's Depth)

* Code 200: Level II (should be level III) (0.76 mm to 1.50 mm Breslow's Depth)

* Code 300: Level III (should be level IV) (> 1.50 mm Breslow's Depth)

Please see the corrected levels below for the note. Note 4: If a Breslow's depth is given in the pathology report and there is no other indication of involvement, the following guidelines may be used (Note: If a physician documents a different Clark's Level than provided by these guidelines, go with the physician's Clark Level)

Code 000: Level I (In situ)

Code 100: Level II (< 0.75 mm Breslow's Depth)

Code 200: Level III (0.76 mm to 1.50 mm Breslow's Depth)

Code 300: Level IV (> 1.50 mm Breslow's Depth)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.