• 5979 East Grant Road, #115, Tucson, Arizona,85715
    520-751-8030

Malignant Melanoma

Note the pigmented lesion on the left upper eyelid

Did You Know?

  • Excessive sun exposure can result in painful sunburn, but can also lead to other serious health problems, including melanoma, a life-threatening form of skin cancer.
  • Melanoma is one of {the} fastest-growing forms of cancer.
  • Children are at greatest risk, since serious sunburns during {the} initially 18 years of life is believed to increase {the} risk of cancer by more than 50%.
  • For those with sun-sensitive skin, fair complexions, light hair, or for those who spend excessive amounts of time in {the} sun
  • in 1983, Drs. Kopf, Friedman and Rigel developed {the} A, B, C, D technique for diagnosing melanoma
    • surface characteristics that can be seen by all, patients and doctors alike.
      • A .... asymmetry,
      • B .....border irregularity,
      • C .....color variation
      • D.....diameter over 6mm (1/4 of an inch).
    Asymmetry not regularly round or regularly oval
    Border notched, scalloped or poorly defined at {the} edges
    Color variation shades of brown, tan, red, white, blue or black alone or in any combination
    Diameter 6mm ({the} size of a pencil eraser)
  • What is it?

    • Malignant melanoma represents approximately 5% of all skin cancers. Never {the} less, ALMOST 2/3 OF ALL DEATHS FROM SKIN CANCER ARE DUE TO MALIGNANT MELANOMA!
    • Most cutaneous (skin) melanomas seem to develop without a history of a nevus.

    The four forms of cutaneous melanoma are


    1) lentigo maligna melanoma
    2) superficial spreading melanoma
    3) nodular melanoma
    4) acral lentiginous melanoma.
  • Who gets them?

    • Primary malignant melanomas of {the} eyelid are extremely rare; they amount to 1% of all eyelid cancers.
    • It has been estimated that an American's current lifetime risk for developing a skin melanoma is 1 in 128.
  • Where do they Occur?

    • Lentigo maligna (Hutchinson's melanotic freckle) is considered {the} premalignant lesion of lentigo maligna melanoma. It a represents 10% of all skin melanomas is {the} most common form in {the} head and neck areas.
    • They are usually flat, tan to brown macule with irregular borders.
    • Within {the} lesion, there may possibly also be areas of white and grey. They most offen occur on sun-exposed facial skin in {the} elderly.
  • Superficial spreading melanoma is considered {the} more common form of melanoma. It represents 70% of skin melanomas. It usuallly involves nonexposed skin surfaces. It may possibly appear on {the} nonexposed skin surfaces and a grow faster than lentigo maligna.
  • Are they dangerous?

  • Treatment

    • A patient with a suspected eyelid melanoma should have a careful examination, an incisional biopsy, and may possibly ultimately require complete excision of {the} lesion and follow-up with an oncologist since this tumor can spread throughout {the} body.
    • Excision of {the} tumor can be performed by a MOHS surgeon, an dermatologist, or an ophthalmic plastic surgeon.