Are the neck Malignant melanomas different from the ones affecting the head? clinicopathologic, dermoscopic and prognostic findings

G. Ponti, A. Pollio, A. Tomasi, S. Borsari, C. Magnoni, V. D. Mandel, P. Loschi, C. Ruini, S. Seidenari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Malignant melanomas of the head and neck are usually considered as a unique entity in comparison to other body sites. However, no characterization of neck melanoma has been performed so far, despite the clear anatomic and histological differences. Aim: We investigated clinical, demographic, histological and dermoscopic differences between face, scalp and neck melanoma. Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis of medical and histologic records from 116 melanomas of the head and neck area collected between January 2003 and January 2008 was performed. Body site, gender, age, number of lesions, age at first melanoma diagnosis, size, Clark level, association with nevi, presence or absence of mitoses and/or ulceration, presence of synchronous and/or metachronous melanoma were recorded. Moreover, digital dermoscopy images of 92 melanomas of the head and neck area were analyzed for main dermoscopic patterns and lesion diameter. Results: Significant differences in Breslow thickness, ex-naevo origin and tumor size among neck and face-scalp melanomas were observed. Neck MM patients were younger than those with MM of face and scalp. In contrast to scalp and face, no patient died from neck melanoma. Dermoscopic patterns were similar to those of trunk-limbs MM, and no lesion showed a lentigo maligna pattern which was observed in most lesions of the face. Conclusion: Melanomas of the neck must be distinguished from face and scalp melanomas because of younger age, different dermoscopic patterns and ex-naevo origin and better prognosis. These data should be taken into account both from an epidemiological and clinical point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalHead and Neck Oncology
Volume5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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