Care of Genital Melanoma Still Problematic
Melanoma of the female genitalia continues to have an unfavorable prognosis, particularly thicker lesions that are not amenable to surgery, according to data from one of the largest clinical series ever reported.
Half of the 85 patients died within 5 years and just 30% remained alive at 10 years. Diagnosed between 1970 and 2009, the lesions affected women spanning the age range from teenagers to nonagenarians.
Thinner lesions and wide-margin surgical resection predicted better survival, as reported at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in San Diego.
“Like any melanoma ulcer on the body, when it’s caught earlier, we have a much greater opportunity to provide a cure than when things are diagnosed later,” Kelly Nelson, MD, of Duke University, told MedPage Today.
“What a lot of women I have seen after diagnosis have told me is that they weren’t even aware [the lesion] was there until it became painful or began to bleed,” she added. “That relates back to encouraging women to be aware of their bodies and to include examination of that area when they look at the rest of their skin on a monthly basis.”
Melanoma of the female genitalia is an uncommon malignancy that historically has a poor prognosis, associated with a mean 5-year survival of 36% and a range of 8% to 55%. Factors influencing prognosis have remained unclear, a circumstance Nelson and colleagues sought to address in a retrospective review of medical records.
The investigators limited their search to women with a diagnosis of primary melanoma of the genitalia. They selected 85 patients for closer evaluation.
You can read the rest of the article at MedPage: Care of Genital Melanoma Still Problematic