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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990 Jan;22(1):69-75.

Dysplastic melanocytic nevi and cutaneous melanoma: markers of increased melanoma risk for affected persons and blood relatives.

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Dermatology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


Dysplastic melanocytic nevi are potential precursors of cutaneous melanoma and markers of increased risk. This article presents representative case histories that illustrate the usefulness of careful follow-up of persons who have dysplastic melanocytic nevi or cutaneous melanoma, as well as examination of their blood relatives for the same lesions. Identification and periodic examination of such high-risk persons may result in the detection of melanoma in a curable phase. Our observations suggest that (1) dysplastic melanocytic nevi may aggregate in families of persons who have dysplastic melanocytic nevi or melanoma, even in the absence of a family history of dysplastic melanocytic nevi or melanoma and (2) formal genetic and natural history studies of persons who have dysplastic melanocytic nevi outside the familial melanoma setting are warranted.

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