What is Desmoplastic Melanoma?
This is a rare form of melanoma, which is a skin cancer that is usually malignant, which means cancerous. It is normally found in the neck region and head of older people who has skin that has been sun-damaged. It predominantly affects Caucasians and affects men more than women. It is also known as Spindled melanoma or Neurotropic melanoma. When a person has desmoplastic melanoma it usually does not have the ABCD melanoma warning signs which are
- Asymmetry – one half is shaped differently than the other half
- Border irregularity – the border is irregular
- Color variation – the color is not uniform throughout the lesion
- Large Diameter – it is usually larger than the diameter of the eraser on a pencil and can cause concern at this time.
Desmoplastic Melanoma Symptoms
When a person has desmoplastic melanoma the lesion looks like a slowly-enlarging area of thickened skin. It may look like an unusual mole, a keloid or hypertrophic scar but you have no history of having an injury at the site of this lesion, a neurofibroma, or dermatofibroma. As it grows it becomes more distinctive but it can take months, even years, before the lesion is recognized as desmoplastic melanoma.
The symptoms, or characteristics, of desmoplastic melanoma are:
- Usually being more than six millimeters and one to two centimeters in diameter when it is diagnosed
- Having an irregular or round shape
- Having variable pigmentation that is most often a pink nodule or skin-colored
- Being a firm scar-like nodule that has an irregular or smooth surface
- Appearing as a flat nodule with a brown and bluish-red portion
A person gets desmoplastic melanoma because of the development malignant pigment cells called melanocytes within dermis, which is the layer of skin that is between the outer layer and the subcutaneous tissues. These cells can arise in skin that was normal-appearing previously or within another type of melanoma. It is not known what triggers these melanocytes to become malignant. It is thought to be a series of changes to a person’s DNA.
Because it has a similar appearance to scars, cysts, fibromas, or sclerosing melanocytic nevi, it is very important that you have it diagnosed accurately so as soon as you notice an odd lump on your skin that is not going away and seems to be changing in size and appearance you should see your physician or dermatologist. They will ask your medical history and then do a physical exam of the area. The physician or dermatologist can make an accurate diagnosis by doing an excision skin biopsy where they take a sample of the lesion and look at it under a microscope to make sure that it is. If you have melanoma that is more than one millimeter thick they physician or dermatologist may advise you to have imaging studies, blood tests, a lymph node biopsy.
They may also use a dermoscopy which is when they examine your skin using a skin surface microscopy to evaluate pigmented skin lesions and can make it easier to diagnosis desmoplastic melanoma.
Desmoplastic Melanoma Pictures
Images, Photos and Pictures collection of Desmoplastic Melanoma…
The initial treatment for a person who has desmoplastic melanoma is to cut it out and when this is done the lesion should be totally cut out with a one to two centimeter margin of tissue that is normal.
Surviving after being diagnosed with desmoplastic melanoma usually depends on several factors. The main factor is the measured thickness of the melanoma when it was removed surgically. There is an eighty-five percent survival rate of five years and an eighty percent survival rate of ten years.