Sunday, October 6, 2013

Oral Melanoma

The answer to yesterday's image challenge was #4- Melanoma.  Many of you diagnosed correctly.

Oral malignant melanomas are uncommon and like other melanomas of the skin they arise from melanocyte cells.  Unlike cutaneous (skin) melanoma which are linked to sun exposure, the risk factors for oral melanoma is unknown.  We think they arise de novo (from no cause).

Oral melanomas are more common in Japanese race and occur in men more than women (2:1)  It is rare in people under 20 and more common in men over 40 years.

Good oral exams by the dentist are always important to identify mouth lesions.  Most are benign and many other less serious conditions can cause pigmentation.


Bruce said...

My wife died in 1984 of cutaneous malignant melanoma where a mole grew like a strand of hair on the right lower section of the skull just north of the neck. She was about 2 weeks from delivering our daughter so the doctors at the clinic at WVU where I was studying Wildlife Biology as a Junior in 1980 decided to wait until after delivery.

They did a biopsy 3 days after delivery and 4 days later we learn of the bad news. The mole had grown to about 6 inches and blended in with her straight fine light brown hair. So we didn't know it was growing.

I'm sure it was from over exposure to the sun as we were baby oil sunbathers in the mid to late 70's and she was fair skinned.

I can tell you that 2 years into the ordeal she was introduced to Interferon by the National Cancer Institute as she was accepted as a case study in FEB 1982. That study lasted 4 months and she was in total remission starting in June 1982.

There was neuro metastasis one year later and 4 neuro surgeries in about 9 months before she passed in OCT 1984.

If you suspect anything unusual on your skin get it checked out as soon as possible...

Toni Brayer, MD said...

Bruce: Thank you for sharing your story. It is unfortunately too common. Your daughter must be about 30 years old now. I hope life has been good to you and I am sorry for your loss.

katherine will said...

very good information, from now on I will be more cautious about maintaining my Health. thank you
I have a friend who has been suffering as you point out, I'll show this article to my friend, I hope my friend can quickly recover

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