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BMJ Case Rep. 2011 Mar 29;2011. pii: bcr0920103343. doi: 10.1136/bcr.09.2010.3343.

Cutaneous Spitzoid melanoma in a very young girl of Asian descent.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.


Cutaneous melanoma is extremely uncommon in children. Further, Asian-Americans appear to be at decreased risk for cutaneous melanoma. The authors present the case of a prepubescent Asian girl who presents with the rare spitzoid variant of cutaneous melanoma. The patient is a 4-year-old girl of Chinese descent who presented with a red, raised nodule, which increased in size over a 3-month period. She underwent wide local excision with sentinel lymph node dissection. On histopathologic analysis, she was found to have Spitzoid melanoma of childhood/adolescence. Spitzoid melanoma in children is rare and incompletely understood. A recent systematic review was only able to identify 82 such cases published over a 57-year period. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Spitzoid melanoma in a paediatric age patient of Asian descent. While this clearly is an uncommon demographic, it seeks to highlight important differences in racial predilection for Spitzoid melanoma.

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