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May 1974

Melanoma of the Mucous Membranes of the Head and Neck

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Head and Neck Services, St. Vincent's Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Pack Medical Foundation, New York.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;99(5):315-319. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780030327001

Melanoma of the mucous membranes comprises approximately 10% of melanomas of the head and neck, and 52 cases are reviewed herein. The oral cavity contained half of the melanomas with the palate and alveolus predominating; 15.4% occurred in the pharynx and larynx. The highest incidence was between ages 50 and 70. At initial examination, only 7.7% had regional metastases, and 15.4% developed them later; 17.3% had disseminated melanoma. The local recurrence rate was 40% in the nasal cavity, 32% in the larynx, and 25% in the oral cavity. In 50%, treatment was by wide local resection or electrodesiccation, in 27% by local resection and radical neck dissection, and in 23% by irradiation, chemotherapy, or nothing. At this analysis, 11% of the patients had been living with melanoma over five years, and 74% were dead of their melanoma. The cure rate was 15%.