What is Lentigo Maligna Melanoma?Lentigo maligna is a subtype of melanin-producing cells tumor that usually appears as a flat distinct brown-colored area of skin with no changes in the texture and thickness of the skin. It usually develops in the chronically sun-exposed area head and neck area of the skin in the elderly. Melanoma skin cancer usually develops when melanin-producing skin cells grow out of control. Melanin-producing cells are called melanocytes, and these cells determine skin color. Lentigo malignant melanoma of the skin appears in the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis but is diagnosed when it invaded the 2nd deeper layer of the skin called the dermis.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause however certain hereditary and genetic mutations are considered responsible for the development of lentigo melanoma of the skin. Moreover, there are certain risk factors such as prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, older age, having multiple moles, or having a history of moles in other family members and fair skin are all contributory risk factors for the development of lentigo maligna melanoma of the skin. It is more common among outdoor workers and older people due to its association with sun exposure.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Brown-colored lesion on the sun-exposed damaged areas of skin
- The tumor or lesion of lentigo maligna melanoma is larger and ranges from greater than 6mm to several cm in diameter
- The lesion usually is of an irregular shape
- The color of the lesion may also vary ranging from brown, tan, dark brown, red-pink, or white
- In the initial stages, the lesions are smooth and flat
- Deep-going invasive lesions are thick, usually, bleed and itch and are of dark brown or black color
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Narrow margin excisional biopsy of the skin
- Genetic test to detect mutation
- Histopathology (microscopic examination of the tumor tissues after taking a biopsy)
- Chest X-Ray to detect distant metastasis of the tumor ( as Kaposi sarcoma of the skin may also spread to the lungs and lymph nodes of the body)
- Other diagnostic procedures such as Chest X-ray, USG (ultrasound) abdomen, CT-scan, MRI, and PET-scan to detect the size, site, extent, and distant metastasis( spread of the tumor from its site of origin to the other parts of the body)