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Malignant melanoma of the oral cavity: A review of literature

Author(s): Hashemi Pour M

Journal: Indian Journal of Dental Research
ISSN 0970-9290

Volume: 19;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 47;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Malignant oral | melanoma

Oral malignant melanoma is a rare aggressive neoplasm of the middle age. This malignancy commonly affects male subjects and is more frequently seen at the level of the hard palate and gingiva. At present, the clinicopathological classification of oral melanoma is not yet clearly outlined; consequently, the skin form is often taken as a reference. In many cases (up to 30%), the diagnosis of melanoma is made on lesions, which have evolved from the pre-existing pigmented lesions. The poor prognosis of oral melanomas requires that pigmented lesions of undetermined origin be routinely biopsied. The surgical approach, combined with the chemotherapeutic one, is the first choice treatment. The purpose of this study is to review literature that has been published about malignant melanoma of the oral cavity. Materials and Methods: Thirty-eight published articles and 8 textbooks related to oral malignant melanoma and been published in the last two decades are reviewed. Conclusion: The review of literature in the field of malignant melanoma of the oral cavity show that this malignancy might be different from cutaneous malignant melanomas, and new criteria for diagnosis and therapy should be considered for this disease. Physicians and dentists who treat problems of the oral cavity should be aware of the need for early diagnosis of oral melanomas and performing biopsies of doubtful pigmented lesions.

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