Mucosal malignant melanoma arising from the head and neck region is a rare entity, and it is more aggressive than cutaneous melanoma. Furthermore, the complex anatomy of the oral cavity makes complete surgical excision difficult. Thus, early diagnosis and treatment of a mucosal lesion are important. In this study, three mucosal malignant melanoma cases and the literature have been reviewed. Three cases who presented with a primary malignant melanoma of the oral cavity have been retrospectively analyzed. All three patients were female with a mean age of 31.3 years, and the median follow-up period was 18.6 (6–36) months. The tumor was located on the maxillary gingiva in case 1 and in the hard palate–maxillary gingiva in cases 2 and 3. Case 2 had a distant metastasis during first admission. The tumor was excised with a 2-cm surgical margin in all cases. Case 2 received adjuvant chemotherapy. During the follow-up period, case 1 had a cervical lymphadenopathy 8 months after the first operation, so she underwent cervical lymph node dissection then received chemotherapy. Melanoma of the oral cavity is very rare with an extremely poor prognosis. As some melanomas may be amelanotic, a high index of suspicion is necessary. A biopsy should be taken from any suspicious lesion in the oral cavity. Surgical excision combined with adjuvant therapy is the main treatment approach for these cases. Prognosis of the disease depends on early diagnosis and treatment. A multicenter prospective study is required to introduce staging of the disease and the optimal treatment regimen.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2011
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