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August 1998

Melanoma: Lessons From Metastases

Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(8):1027-1028. doi:10.1001/archderm.134.8.1027

MELANOMA, a common and serious disease encountered by dermatologists, has several unique features. Three questions of concern to the dermatologist are as follows: First, what is the difference between radial and vertical growth melanoma in terms of biology? Second, why does the prognosis of melanoma significantly worsen when the lesion becomes greater than 0.75 mm in thickness? Finally, how can the phenomenon of metastasis years and even decades after initial resection be explained? The article by Barnhill et al1 teaches us some basic lessons about the behavior of melanoma, lessons that may be useful in answering these 3 questions about melanoma.

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