INTRODUCTION: Malignant cutaneous melanoma (MCM) comprises nearly 5% of all malignant cutaneous tumors and shows increasing incidence and a high mortality. The objective of this study is to review the clinical, epidemiological, and anatomopathological characteristics of MCM in patients treated at the plastic surgery and pathological anatomy services of a general hospital.
METHOD: Data corresponding to 47 lesions from 45 patients treated between 2011 and 2013 were reviewed. We analyzed the sex and age of patients, as well as the site and histopathological characteristics of the lesions.
RESULTS: A total of 24 patients were men and 21 were women. Their average age at the medical appointment was 61.9 years. Twenty-four neoplasias were in the extremities, 14 in the torso, and 9 in the face. Concerning histological diagnosis, 34.0% of the tumors were in situ melanoma and 66.0% were invasive melanoma. In the latter group, 14 lesions corresponded to the nodular melanoma type, 12 to the superficial spreading, three to the acral lentiginous, and two to the malignant lentigo melanoma type. Sentinel node biopsy was performed in 14 invasive melanomas, with 4 being positive. Among the lymphadenectomies performed, four were positive for metastasis. At diagnosis, four patients showed in-transit metastasis, whereas three patients had lymph node metastasis. Local tumor relapse was observed in two cases. Concerning tumor staging, 14 patients were in stage 0, 11 in stage I, 10 in stage II, and 10 in stage III.
CONCLUSION: The data from this study support the findings described in the literature. Early diagnosis and surgical treatment remain the best way to increase survival.
Keywords: Melanoma; Malignant melanoma; Epidemiology.