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Types of primary melanoma Print E-mail

The most common types of Melanoma in the skin:

superficial spreading melanoma (SSM) is the most common form of cutaneous melanoma in Caucasians. The average age at diagnosis is in the fifth decade, and it tends to occur on sun-exposed skin, especially on the backs of males and lower limbs of females.

nodular melanoma (NM) is the most aggressive form of melanoma. It grows in vertical direction from the outset and grows very fast (months). Nodular melanoma has no known precursor. It is a small black, or if amelanotic, pink nodule that simply enlarges. The lesions tend to bleed.

acral lentiginous melanoma is a kind of skin melanoma. It is also known as subungual melanoma. It is seen on the palms, soles and under the nails. This is the most common form of melanoma in Asians and Blacks. The average age at diagnosis is between sixty and seventy years. It also occurs in Caucasians and in young people. This type of melanoma occurs on non hair-bearing surfaces of the body which may or may not be exposed to sunlight. It is also found on mucous membranes. It does not appear to be linked to sun exposure.

lentigo maligna (melanoma) is a melanoma in situ that consists of malignant cells but does not show invasive growth. It typically progresses very slowly and can remain in a non-invasive form for years. The transition to true melanoma is marked by the appearance of a bumpy surface (itself a marker of vertical growth and invasion), at which point it is called lentigo maligna melanoma. It is normally found in the elderly (peak incidence in the 9th decade), on skin areas with high levels of sun exposure like the face and forearms.

Any of the above types may produce melanin (and be dark in colour) or not (and be amelanotic - not dark). Similarly any subtype may show desmoplasia (dense fibrous reaction with neurotropism) which is a marker of aggressive behaviour and a tendency to local recurrence.

Elsewhere:

clear cell sarcoma (Melanoma of Soft Parts) are part of the surface epithelial-stromal tumor group of Ovarian cancers, accounting for 6% of these neoplastic cases. Clear cell tumors are also associated with the pancreas and salivary glands.

mucosal melanoma

uveal melanoma is cancer (melanoma) of the eye involving the iris, ciliary body, or choroid (collectively referred to as the uvea) with advanced tumors encompassing more than one of these structures. Tumors arise from the pigment cells (melanocytes) that give color to the eye. Uveal melanoma is distinct from most skin melanomas associated with ultraviolet exposure; however, it shares several similarities with other non-sun-exposed melanomas.

 
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