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J Surg Oncol. 2012 Jul 1;106(1):36-40. doi: 10.1002/jso.23035. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

A proposal for the timing of management of patients with melanoma presenting during pregnancy.

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  • 1Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Melanoma Unit at the Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT, USA.


The treatment of melanoma during and immediately after pregnancy poses a significant challenge to surgeons, oncologists, and patients alike. With the overall increase in incidence of melanoma in the United States and worldwide, it is likely that more surgeons will be faced with management decisions regarding pregnant patients with melanoma. We report on five patients who presented to the Yale Melanoma Unit with melanoma during their pregnancy. We propose the management option of resection of the primary tumor under local anesthesia, and postponing of the sentinel lymph node biopsy until after the birth of the child. The completion lymphadenectomy can be performed if these nodes are found to be harboring metastases. We further discuss treatment options and propose an algorithm for management of patients diagnosed with melanoma while pregnant.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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