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November 22, 1971

Melanoma in Relatives

Author Affiliations

Covina, Calif

JAMA. 1971;218(8):1300-1301. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190210154025

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To the Editor.—  Apropos of the LETTER of Robertson to The Journal (217:1553, 1971) I feel it pertinent to mention the following reports.In January of 1970, when he was 38 years old, a man had a malignant melanoma removed from his scapular area. Histologically, the lesion was invasive and one out of 16 left axillary lymph nodes was positive. In January 1971, a firm, hard nodule was noted near the site of the primary graft. This lesion was excised and found to represent metastatic malignant melanoma. In May, the patient developed severe persistent pains in the back which at first did not respond to the usual muscle relaxants and analgesias. Further specialized x-ray films revealed a lytic lesion in the dorsal vertebral column. Subsequent to this, incapacitating pain made itself evident and the patient developed multiple lytic lesions in the back, became bedridden, and died of generalized metastases,