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Am J Surg. 1991 Oct;162(4):315-9.

The prognostic implications of location for scalp melanoma.

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Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.


The clinical and pathologic records of 95 patients with primary cutaneous melanoma isolated to the scalp and regional lymph nodes treated at the MD Anderson Cancer Center between 1976 and 1985 were reviewed to assess the effect of lesion location on the prognosis of scalp melanoma. The scalp was defined as an area bounded by the supraorbital ridges, superior nuchal line, zygoma, and mastoid, thereby including a large non-hair-bearing area. Patients were grouped according to lesion location: hair-bearing or non-hair-bearing; anterior or posterior to the mid-tragal line; and parietal versus frontal, temporal, or occipital. There was a similar distribution of prognostic factors between the anatomic subsites. Analysis by univariate and multivariate methods demonstrated that, in a hair-bearing area, in an area posterior to the mid-tragal line, or in the parietal region, lesion location was highly predictive of the patient's survival. For example, the 5-year, melanoma-specific survival rate was 65% overall, 86% for patients with lesions located in non-hair-bearing regions and 47% for those with lesions in hair-bearing regions (p = 0.0019).

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