Malignant melanoma and pregnancy

Vitaliano Silipo, Paola De Simone, Giustino Mariani, Pierluigi Buccini, Angela Ferrari, Caterina Catricalà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The occurrence of cancer in pregnant women is not a common phenomenon and the real incidence of malignant melanoma during this period is unknown. Many authors reported a poor prognosis in pregnant women with melanoma compared with non-pregnant women's tumour. Several retrospective reviews reported a worsened prognosis in pregnant women with melanoma and found that progesterone and oestrogen receptors can be detected in melanoma tissue. Other data are in conflict with these opinions; several studies demonstrated that the timing of the disease diagnosis during pregnancy did not appear to influence the risk of mortality. In our report, we reviewed data on women with malignant melanoma who were diagnosed during pregnancy in our institute from 1991 to 2000. We have considered the following parameters: age at diagnosis, histological type and tumour thickness, stage of disease and surgical management and we have compared the clinical and biological behaviour of these melanomas with melanoma in non-pregnant women observed in the same period and in a follow-up of 5 years. In our study, there is no significant difference in outcome and survival rate between pregnant and non-pregnant women with melanoma. During pregnancy, melanocytic skin lesions show a transient modification of dermoscopic pattern; consequently, a close follow-up of pigmented lesions, both clinical and instrumental, is very important during pregnancy and care must be taken in revealing the presence of other risk factors for melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-500
Number of pages4
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Cancer and pregnancy
  • Pregnancy and melanoma
  • Skin cancer and pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Dermatology


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