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Types of Melanoma

By Mia Wangsmo Steffenssen MD, Mike Mikkelsen Lorenzen, MD and Pia Sjøgren MD

Based on the Danish Melanoma Database 2019.

Superficial spreading melanoma (81%)

All body surface, mostly head, neck, and trunk of males and lower extremities of females

Superficial spreading malignant melanoma
Superficial spreading malignant melanoma

Nodular melanoma (7%)

All body surface, especially the trunk of males. Extremely aggressive, with rapid progression from the radial to the vertical growth phase. Early metastasis, poor prognosis.

Lentigo maligna melanoma (3,5%)

Presents in sun-exposed areas of the body, primarily face, head and neck areas.

Acral lentiginous melanoma (<1%)

Palms, soles and subungual areas

Extremely aggressive, with rapid progression from the radial to vertical growth phase

Rare subtypes

Mucosal lentigo melanoma 

Treatment in the relevant department; e.g, ophthalmic, gynecological and gastrointestinal.

Amelanotic melanoma (<1%)

Subtype of superficial spreading malignant melanoma without sufficient pigment production to appear as a pigmented lesion.

Desmoplastic melanoma (<1%)

Rare type of malignant melanoma characterized by no production of pigment and resemblance to hypertrophic scars. Presents on external skin and must be differentiated from scar-tissue on anamnesis as well as other benign lesions it resembles.

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