What is oral malignant melanoma?

Oral malignant melanoma (OMM) was first described by Weber in 1859.[1] Malignant melanoma of the oral cavity is an extremely rare tumor arising from the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes found in the basal layer of the oral mucous membranes.[1,2] Melanocytes are neural crest-derived cells that migrate to the skin, …

What is malignant melanoma in mouth?

Abstract. Primary oral melanoma (POM) is an uncommon malignant tumor that originates from the proliferation of melanocytes. Such tumors can be present at any location in the oral cavity; however, it affects more frequently the hard palate and the maxillary alveolar mucosa.

Is oral melanoma fatal?

Prognosis of oral melanoma is extremely poor and is also most deadly in comparison to other organ neoplasms [8], as well as vascular or lymphatic invasion that facilitates spreading of melanoma to other sites is a more important prognostic factor [2].

How common is oral malignant melanoma?

Oral malignant melanomas are extremely rare lesions, accounting for approximately 2% of all melanomas with only a few reported cases in literature.

Is oral malignant melanoma cancer?

The melanoma of the mouth is a malignant neoplasm of melanocytes. It is a rare entity accounting for only 0.5% of melanomas. There is a male predominance, and the median age at diagnosis is 55–66 years. The most common mouth sites of melanoma are the palate and maxillary gingiva.

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Can oral melanoma be cured?

Eneroth and Lundberg stated that patients are not cured of oral melanoma and that the risk of death always exists. Long periods of remission may be punctuated by sudden and silent recurrence.

What does oral malignant melanoma look like?

Oral melanomas are often silent with minimal symptoms until the advanced stage. The lesions can appear as pigmented dark brown to blue-black lesions or apigmented mucosa-colored or white lesions on physical examination. Erythema may be present if inflammation is present.

Where does oral melanoma spread?

The common location of primary oral malignant melanoma is the hard palate and maxillary alveolus. In ~85% of cases, the melanoma will metastasize to the liver, lung, bone and brain early in the course of the disease.

How do you get oral melanoma?


  1. The predilection for occurrence in the palate remains a mystery.
  2. No link has been established with denture wearing, chemical or physical trauma, or tobacco use.
  3. Melanocytic lesions, such as blue nevi, are more common on the palate.
  4. Oral blue nevi are not reported to undergo malignant transformation.

How is oral melanoma treated?

Dacarbazine (DTIC; available as a generic drug) is the only FDA-approved chemotherapy for melanoma. Temozolomide (Temodar) is essentially an oral version of dacarbazine, and it is used for the treatment of stage IV melanoma. Both DTIC and temozolomide have been shown to shrink melanoma for about 12% to 15% of patients.

Can you get melanoma in your throat?

Malignant melanoma of the esophagus is a rare and aggressive disease. Its diagnosis is difficult and usually made late, in the advanced stages of the disease, providing a poor prognosis with low long-term survival rates even after appropriate treatment.

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Can melanoma spread to tongue?

Tongue metastases of melanoma are rare and are associated with widespread disease and consequently poor prognosis and low survival rates, as seen in the cases described here.

Can melanoma spread to the throat?

Primary malignant melanoma of the mucosa is more common than metastatic disease and has a different site predilection, occurring more often in the nasal cavity and the maxilla1,3. However, melanoma metastatic to the mucosa of the head and neck has been encountered most often in larynx, tongue, and tonsil.