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J Foot Ankle Res. 2008 Sep 15;1(1):11. doi: 10.1186/1757-1146-1-11.

Acral lentiginous melanoma of the foot and ankle: A case series and review of the literature.

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School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.



Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is an uncommon, cutaneous malignant tumour which may arise on the foot. Its relative rarity, atypical appearance and late presentation frequently serve as poor prognostic indicators.


At a tertiary skin tumour centre, a retrospective review was undertaken of all patients diagnosed with the tumour at the level of ankle or below.


Over a six year period, 27 cases (20 female, 7 male) were identified with positive histology confirming the disease. The age ranged from 35-96 years of age (mean 62.7 years). The majority of the cohort were white (59%) with plantar lesions (62%). 33% of patients were initially were diagnosed incorrectly. The average time taken from the point of recognition, by the patient, to the lesion being correctly diagnosed was around 13.5 months.


Earlier diagnosis of ALM requires education at both a patient and practitioner level.

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