Melanoma of the external ear

Aldo Bono, Cesare Bartoli, Andrea Maurichi, Daniele Moglia, Gabrina Tragni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: Melanoma of the external ear is a rare disease, and its management is controversial. To address this problem, we reviewed the data concerning the patients observed at our institution. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of the 20 patients bearing primary ear melanoma observed over a period of about 20 years at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan. Results: Initial evaluation of the patients revealed 7 stage I, 12 stage II and 1 stage III. The thickness of the tumors varied from 0.39 to 6.62 mm. Fourteen patients underwent a wedge resection of the skin and cartilage with primary closure, and 6 patients had a partial amputation of the ear. In 8 cases the section was performed at about 1 cm from the border of the tumor, in 6 cases at about 0.5 cm, and in 6 cases at more than 1 cm. The average follow-up was 57 months (range, 1-18 years). Since there was no local recurrence, it could not be related to type and extent of the local resection performed. In contrast, the development of metastases was related to tumor thickness. Conclusions: A conservative excision with margins of 1 cm can be a safe procedure for invasive ear melanoma, irrespective of tumor thickness. Like melanomas of other sites, the prognosis is linked to the thickness of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-817
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997


  • Ear
  • Melanoma
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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