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Melanoma--clinical, dermatoscopical, and histopathological morphological characteristics.

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Marija Buljan, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatovenereology , Sestre milosrdnice University Hospital Centre , Vinogradska cesta 29 , 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia;


Melanoma is one of the most malignant skin tumors with constantly rising incidence worldwide, especially in fair-skinned populations. Melanoma is usually diagnosed at the average age 50, but, nowadays is also diagnosed more frequently in younger adults, and very rarely in childhood. There is no unique or specific clinical presentation of a melanoma. The clinical presentation of melanomas varies depending on the anatomic localization and the type of growth, i.e., the histopathological type of the cancer. There are four major histopathological types of melanoma--superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, lentigo maligna melanoma, and acral lentiginous melanoma. Although dermatoscopy is a very useful tool in early melanoma detection, dermatoscopical features of melanomas are also variable. Therefore, experience and education in dermatoscopy is crucial in the evaluation of skin tumors. Differential diagnosis of melanomas includes a wide range of benign and malignant skin lesions, due to their clinical presentation and resemblance to various dermatological entities. In this review we present the most important aspects of clinical, dermatoscopical, and histopathological features of melanomas.

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