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see skin cancerskin cancer,
malignant tumor of the skin. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Rarer forms include mycosis fungoides (a type of lymphoma) and Kaposi's sarcoma.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



melanoblastoma; a malignant tumor that consists of melanin-producing cells.

Factors conducive to the development of melanomas include injury and hormonal stimulation, especially during puberty. Melanomas generally occur on the skin; less often, they appear on the retina, pia mater, nasopharynx, larynx, esophagus, and mucosa of the intestine and other organs. Melanomas usually develop at the site of pigmented or depigmented birthmarks, but they may also appear elsewhere. The process starts with a barely perceptible, painless tumor on the skin, sometimes resembling a wart, which gradually becomes dark brown or black. Occasionally, it ulcerates and bleeds. In case of injury, the tumor may enlarge quickly and become tuberous, dense at the base, and stiffer. The regional lymph nodes enlarge. The initial signs that a melanoma is developing at the site of a birthmark are the birthmark’s enlargement, an intensification or reduction in its pigmentation, and the appearance of a red rim around it. Treatment involves prompt surgical intervention, based on early diagnosis, and the use of radiotherapy and drugs to retard the growth and reproduction of the cells.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A malignant tumor composed of anaplastic melanocytes.
A benign or malignant tumor composed of melanocytes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Pathol a malignant tumour composed of melanocytes, occurring esp in the skin, often as a result of excessive exposure to sunlight
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Superficial spreading melanoma (SSM) was the most common subtype in NHW, HW, and API, whereas in Blacks, it was the second most common subtype.
(3-8,16) Historically, three main subtypes of melanoma including superficial spreading melanoma (SSM), lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM) and nodular melanoma (NM) were first described in 1969; (9) desmoplastic melanoma (DM) was added in 1971; (12) and acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) was introduced in 197710 and defined in 1980.
Recently, epidemiologic analysis led to the proposal of an "early-onset melanoma" category, which is predominantly associated with female sex, superficial spreading melanoma, and a lower extremity location, and a "late-onset melanoma" category, which is predominantly associated with male sex, lentigo maligna melanoma, and a head and neck location.
The histologic profile of superficial spreading melanoma consists of an asymmetric proliferation of uniformly atypical melanocytes that are found at all levels of the epidermis, with single or small aggregates of atypical melanocytes present in the stratum corneum or granulosum ("pagetoid growth").
In some cases, diagnostic considerations included dysplastic nevus and superficial spreading melanoma. In 2 cases, FISH was performed to confirm a suspected but histologically challenging diagnosis of nonsarcomatoid desmoplastic melanoma.
The unique clinical and histologic features discussed above and summarized in Table 2 suggest that lentiginous melanoma represents a distinct clinicopathologic entity from a common lentiginous nevus, dysplastic nevus, superficial spreading melanoma, and lentigo maligna.
Vertical growth pattern in superficial spreading melanoma is defined as the presence of 1 or more dermal clusters larger than the largest epidermal cluster and/or the presence of any mitotic activity in the dermis.
In the case of superficial spreading melanoma, the patches or plaques can measure up to 2.5 cm.
Nodular melanomas (NMs) constitute the second commonest clinical subtype of melanomas (representing 14%-30% of the cases of melanomas), following the more common superficial spreading melanomas. The less common subtypes are lentigo maligna melanomas and acral lentiginous melanomas.
(4,5,20,21) Nodular and superficial spreading melanomas occur less commonly in the black population, and lentigo maligna melanoma is rare.
Melanomas in children arise from congenital nevi, de novo nodular nevi, and superficial spreading melanomas that are sun induced, said Dr.
Pan-nuclear staining is also observed in a subset of neoplastic cells in superficial spreading melanomas and nodular melanomas, but not to the extent seen in the setting of lentiginous melanomas.

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