Small nodular melanoma: The beginning of a life-threatening lesion. A clinical study on 11 cases

Aldo Bono, Elena Tolomio, Antonino Carbone, Daniele Moglia, Federica Crippa, Stefano Tomatis, Mario Santinami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background. Because of its high thickness, nodularmelanoma often bears a poor prognosis. Thus, an earlier diagnosis of this type of lesion while it is still thin would be an important step in secondary prevention. The principal aimof the present study was to better define the initial clinical features of nodular melanoma to allow an early diagnosis. A secondary aim was to establish the prognosis of this type of lesion. Methods. We retrospectively studied and illustrated the clinical features of 11 small (≤6mm maximum diameter) cutaneous nodularmelanomas seen and treated during a 10-year period. Prognostic characteristics of the various lesions were also described. Results. The results of the study help to describe a small nodularmelanoma as a dark and/or pink/red raised lesion, which may be evenly or unevenly colored, with well-defined borders, that often appears de novo. A correct clinical diagnosis was made in 7 of the cases. During amedian follow-up of 6 years, none of the patients had local or distant relapses. Conclusions. Detection of small nodular melanoma is feasible by accurate visual inspection, provided that physicians are aware of this type of lesion and maintain the index of suspicion at a high level to bring about curative surgery. Free full text available at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Diagnosis
  • Nodular melanoma
  • Prognosis
  • Small melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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