(redirected from subungual melanoma)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to subungual melanoma: Acral lentiginous melanoma


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.
..... Click the link for more information.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Studies from Africa have documented a substantial delay in presentation for both plantar and subungual melanoma. The plantar surface is often covered and overlooked by both patient and physician.
Subungual melanoma disproportionately affects nonwhites.
The cause of subungual melanoma is thought to be different from that of cutaneous melanoma, but it remains unclear.
Since the time of Hutchinson's original report there have been numerous case reports and several series that describe antecedent trauma in subungual melanoma; however, there has never been conclusive evidence that trauma is a causative factor.
Nail pigmentation is the first clinical sign of subungual melanoma in more than 75% of cases, but few patients present at this stage.
The 2 most important signs of subungual melanoma are melanonychia striata (longitudinal brown to black pigmented streaks in the nail) and Hutchinson's sign, which is the spread of brown or black pigment from the nail bed, nail matrix, or nail plate onto the adjacent cuticle or onto the proximal or the lateral nail fold.
-- Subungual melanomas seem to travel under the radar screen of many physicians, and are diagnosed relatively late in the course of disease partly because of their relatively low incidence and an appearance that can commonly be mistaken for other conditions, Carl Washington, M.D., said at the annual meeting of the Georgia Society of Dermatologists.
"Most subungual melanomas originate in a pigmented nail streak, and this is important because it gives us the opportunity--as with other types of melanoma to make an early diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment," said Dr.
Roughly 60%-70% of subungual melanomas are of this type.
About 64%-74% of subungual melanomas are localized at the time of diagnosis.
"Most subungual melanomas originate in a pigmented nail streak, and this is important because it gives us the opportunity--as with other types of melanoma--to make an early diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment," said Dr.
Subungual melanomas may have blurred indistinct margins or a variation in band color.