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Pathol Oncol Res. 2018 Oct;24(4):787-796. doi: 10.1007/s12253-018-0419-3. Epub 2018 May 25.

Conjunctival Melanoma - Epidemiological Trends and Features.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Dubrava, Zagreb, Croatia.
Department of Ophthalmology, General Hospital Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Department of Clinical Oncology, School of Medicine University of Zagreb and Department of Radiotherapy and Internal Oncology, University Hospital for Tumors, University Hospital Center Sestre milosrdnice, Zagreb, Croatia.
Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Dubrava, Zagreb, Croatia.
Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation Stubičke Toplice, Stubičke Toplice, Croatia.
Psychiatric Hospital Sveti Ivan, Zagreb, Croatia.


Conjunctival melanoma is a rare but sight and life threatening malignancy. It accounts for 2%-5% of all ocular tumours and 5%-7% of all ocular melanomas with an incidence of 0.2-0.8 per million in the Caucasian population with rare cases reported in the non-Caucasians. In recent decades the incidence of uveal melanoma has been relatively stable whilst conjunctival and cutaneous melanoma have shown increasing incidence which may be connected to the result of environmental exposure to ultraviolet light. The dissimilarity in incidence between light and dark pigmented individuals observed in conjunctival melanomas compared to uveal and cutaneous melanomas may be related to differences in their histological structures and genetic profile. Recent molecular biological studies support the fact that each type of melanoma undergoes its own molecular changes and has characteristic biological behaviour. Further studies are required for each type of melanoma in order to ascertain their individual etiology and pathogenesis and based on this knowledge develop relevant preventative and treatment procedures.


Clinical features; Conjunctival melanoma; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Management; Prognosis

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