WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsParasitic infections
Open this folder and view contentsInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Open this folder and view contentsSuperficial fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsSubcutaneous fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsBacterial infections
Open this folder and view contentsViral infections
Open this folder and view contentsEczematous diseases
Open this folder and view contentsScaling diseases
Open this folder and view contentsPapulosquamous diseases
View the documentCutaneous reactions to drugs
Open this folder and view contentsPigmentary disorders
Close this folderPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
View the documentActinic keratosis
View the documentBasal cell and squamous cell carcinomas
View the documentMalignant melanoma
Open this folder and view contentsPhotodermatoses
Open this folder and view contentsBullous dermatoses
View the documentAlopecia areata
View the documentUrticaria
Open this folder and view contentsConditions common in children
View the documentAcne vulgaris
View the documentPruritus
View the documentTropical ulcers
Open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntifugal drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntiseptic agents
Open this folder and view contentsKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Open this folder and view contentsScabicides and pediculicides
Open this folder and view contentsAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
Open this folder and view contentsAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Open this folder and view contentsUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Open this folder and view contentsMiscellaneous drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex
View the documentSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
View the documentBack cover
 

Malignant melanoma

Malignant melanoma resulting from malignant changes in cutaneous melanocytes is the most fatal form of skin cancer. None the less, with proper early diagnosis and adequate excision of the lesions, most melanomas can be treated without long-term consequences. Most melanomas develop from the normal melanocyte population of the skin, but 30-40% may arise from pre-existing moles. Signs that malignant changes may be occurring (although not predictive in themselves) include a rapid change in size, a change in colour (with or without spread of pigment to the adjacent skin), inflammation of the surrounding skin, and bleeding or ulceration of a pigmented lesion. Early lesions may be flat and look like an unusual freckle. The colour is not uniform with areas of dark coloration contrasting with light areas. This variation in colour is a particularly important sign.

Treatment

Suspicious lesions that are small in size (e.g. diameter ≤ 6 mm) should be excised with a border of 3-4 mm initially. If the lesions are too large to excise, biopsies should be taken for histological examination. The depth of the lesion should be determined, if possible, as this is important in deciding whether additional surgery is required and is also essential for prognosis. Re-excision of margins of normal skin between 1 and 2 cm in width around the original tumour may be done, depending on the depth of invasion found on histological examination. The depth of invasion in the skin is also an important factor in determining the potential for the lesion to metastasize to distant sites.

 

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