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Mucosal malignant melanomas of the head and neck with special reference to cases having a prolonged clinical course



Mucosal malignant melanomas of the head and neck with special reference to cases having a prolonged clinical course



Acta Oto-Laryngologica 80(5-6): 452-458



A histological re-examination and re-classification of primary mucosal tumours of the head and neck region, treated at Radiumhemmet and Karolinska Sjukhuset during the period 1927-1970, revealed that 41 tumours were malignant melanomas. All these 41 tumours were located in the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses and oral cavity and not a single case of primary mucosal malignant melanoma was found in other locations of the head and neck region. In the present study, the long-term prognosis has been analysed. The follow-up period was at least 5 years and ranged up to 48 years. It was found that mucosal malignant melanomas had a very poor prognosis with a five year survival rate of 17% (7 of the total 41 cases) and a ten year survival rate of 7% (3 of the total of 41 cases). The unpredictability of the clinical behaviour of this tumour type is elucidated by cases with a prolonged clinical course despite a primary relatively limited surgery, repeated local recurrences and regional lymph node metastases in an early stage of the disease. Thus, there is always a never-ceasing risk of death in the tumour disease when once a malignant melanoma has occurred. For this reason a meticulous and lifelong follow-up of tumour patients is stressed, and also the value of repeated surgery of local recurrences and regional lymph node metastases.

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Accession: 026999008

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PMID: 1202919

DOI: 10.3109/00016487509121351


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