Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Melanoma – Prognostic Factors – Quick Overview

Listed below are the most important prognostic factors with regard to cutaneous melanoma.

AGE – the older the patient, the poorer the prognosis.

SEX – generally females have a better prognosis than males.

BODY SITE – melanomas on the extremities (eg. legs and arms) have a better prognosis than those on the neck, trunk and face.

INVOLVEMENT OF LYMPH NODES – presence of tumour lymph node involvement has a poorer prognosis. Generally the more nodes involved the poorer the prognosis.

TUMOUR THICKNESS – the thicker the melanoma the poorer the prognosis.

ULCERATION – the presence of ulceration indicates a poorer prognosis.

MITOTIC RATE – the higher the mitotic rate the poorer the prognosis.

REGRESSION – presence of regression in thin melanomas indicates a poorer prognosis.

There are a few other prognostic factors such as Clarks level, tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, BRAF mutations and LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) serum level.

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