Prognostic factors and epidemiological characteristics of cutaneous and mucosal head and neck melanoma

The Clinic of Laserplastics, Riga LV, Latvia.
Stomatologija / issued by public institution "Odontologijos studija" ... [et al.] 01/2011; 13(2):49-54.
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVE. To describe the prognostic factors and epidemiological characteristics of cutaneous and mucosal head and neck melanoma and to identify the variables associated with mortality from this disease. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Patients treated for head and neck melanoma in the Oncology Centre of Latvia, Riga during a 10-year period were identified. Records from 124 cases were analyzed in a descriptive, retrospective study. For each patient, information regarding age, sex, tumor anatomic site, as well as ulceration, histological tumor subtypes, Breslow thickness and Clark invasion level was viewed. Disease specific survival rates were calculated. The frequencies of all study variables and their 95% confidence intervals were determined. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were produced to illustrate the survival differences for each variable. RESULTS. The patients' mean age was 67.36 years. The study included 81 females (65.32%) and 43 males (34.67%). The prevalent anatomical site for cutaneous head and neck melanoma was the cheek - 49% (n=55) and the intraocular site for mucosal melanoma (61.5%). A high percentage of thick cutaneous melanoma was detected. In 53 cases (47.3%) out of 112 cutaneous melanoma the tumor ulceration was found. Nodular melanoma subtype was predominating (38%). The incidence of cutaneous melanoma has increased unequally whereas mucosal melanoma of the head and neck is an uncommon cancer and the incidence rates in Latvia during a ten year period are decreasing. CONCLUSION. Female sex, advanced age, facial skin, tumor thickness, nodular subtype and ulceration carried a relevant risk of poor prognosis.

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