Breslow thickness

July 1, 2023

The Breslow thickness (or Breslow depth) is used to describe how far tumour cells in a type of skin cancer called melanoma have spread from the epidermis on the surface of the skin into the tissue below. It is the deepest point of invasion. This measurement helps doctors predict how the tumour will behave. It is also used to determine the pathologic tumour stage (pT).

How do pathologists measure the Breslow thickness?

The Breslow thickness is measured from the surface of the skin to the deepest point of invasion. It is usually reported in millimetres (mm). A preliminary measurement may be given after a small tissue sample is removed in a procedure called a biopsy. A final measurement will be made after the entire tumour has been removed and examined by a pathologist under the microscope.

About this article

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