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January 1967

Excision of Glands in Continuity for Malignant Melanoma: Review of End Results Following Several Techniques

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery (Plastic), the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York. Dr. McKinney is a J. J. O'Neill Research Fellow in Plastic Surgery.

Arch Surg. 1967;94(1):129-133. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330070131025

A WHITE PERSON has, on the average, about 15 moles over his body.1 The possibility that one of these will degenerate into a malignant melanoma is 1:1,000,000.2 It is impossible to submit every nevus to microscopic analysis. Based on a population of 136,300,000 persons aged 14 and over,3 it would take 10,000 surgeons, excising a nevus even 15 minutes for eight hours daily, over 25 years to accomplish this. Therefore, the prophylactic treatment of melanoma is not practical except in those areas of the body where junctional activity is the rule: sole of the foot, palm of the hand, and over the genitalia.4 In spite of the increased awareness on the part of physicians and the lay public alike that nevi may be precursors of malignant melanoma, that changes in a nevus may presage malignant degeneration, and that prompt and vigorous treatment is necessary, 1,806 deaths

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