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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 167-171

Primary malignant melanoma of oral cavity: A tertiary care center experience

1 Department of Surgical Oncology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jeewan Ram Vishnoi
Department of Surgical Oncology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-5950.183856

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Background: Primary mucosal malignant melanoma is an extremely rare, aggressive neoplasm accounting for 0.5% of all oral malignancies. Any pigmented lesion in oral cavity should have an index of suspicion, which should be investigated to detect the disease at an early stage and managed appropriately. Melanomas tend to invade locally into the tissue or metastasize more commonly than other malignant tumors of the oral cavity. Materials and Methods: We report a retrospective case series of eight patients suffering from primary oral malignant melanoma treated in our department between 2012 and 2014. The details were recorded from the departmental computerized database and patients on follow-up. Results: There were six male and two female patients with a mean age of 46.8 years. Hard palate was the most common affected site in oral cavity. Pigmented lesion\ulcer was the most common presenting symptom. Majority of patients (5 patients) were diagnosed with Stage III (distant metastasis), two patients in Stage II, and one patient in Stage I. Three patients were treated with definitive surgery and five patients with palliative chemotherapy in view of distant disease. Following surgery, two of them required adjuvant chemoradiotherapy in view of nodal spread. Patients had a mean follow-up of 10.5 months (range: 8–26 months). Patients treated with definitive surgery had a mean survival rate of 16 months (range: 10–26 months), with local recurrence in one patient. Metastatic melanoma patients treated with palliative chemotherapy had a mean disease control rate of 5 months (range 5–9 months). Conclusion: Oral melanoma carries dismal prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of 5–20%. Early detection of the lesion, proper evaluation, and appropriate treatment are very important to cure the disease.

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