Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma: a Retrospective Study of Seven Years (2006-2012)

Jorge Moreira, Elisabete Moreira, Filomena Azevedo, Alberto Mota


Introduction: Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer and its incidence has been increasing in recent decades. The cure depends on early diagnosis and understanding melanoma epidemiology is of great importance for the implementation of programs of primary prevention and early detection.
Material and Methods: We reviewed the clinical cases of primary cutaneous malignant melanoma diagnosed between January 2006 and December 2012 at Centro Hospitalar de São João, in Porto.
Results: An overall of 148 cases of melanoma were analyzed and a female predominance was observed (ratio F:M – 1.6:1). The average age at diagnosis was 61 years. The locations most frequently affected were the lower limbs and trunk. In males the back was the most frequently involved, while in females the lesions occurred preferentially in the legs. Superficial spreading melanoma prevailed in almost all age groups. There was a predominance of thin melanomas and the mitotic index was intermediate (1-6 mitoses/ mm2) in most patients. The ulceration was present in 22.3% of cases and prevailed in thick melanomas as well in nodular subtype. Most patients present at stage IA. There was progression to metastatic disease in 20 patients.
Discussion: The profile of patients with cutaneous melanoma in Centro Hospitalar de São João has characteristics relatively similar to those described in the literature.
Conclusion: The prevalence of thin melanomas, generally with a better outcome, is probably the result of an earlier detection.
Keywords: Skin Neoplasms; Retrospective Studies; Portugal.

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