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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is a Amelanotic melanoma and what is the prognosis?

    Related Topics
    A family member has been diagnosed with a Amelanotic melanoma which is 1.25mm. What are the chances of a full recovery if the melanoma is removed?
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  • 13


    Dr Bhaumik Shah

    Medical Oncologist (Cancer Specialist)

    Dr Shah believes in family centered care and long consultations to put all anxieties at ease. He has trained in different illustrious institutes to obtain … View Profile

    Usually melanomas have variable dark color (black, brown, red etc) due to excessive melanin pigment production. Rarely there are melanomas that aren't darkly colored. They are called amelanotic melanomas.

    The depth of melanoma is a very important variable in prognosis. But there are other factors to be considered as well. They include if there is any ulcer on the top of the tumour, blood test (LDH), microscopic examination of tumour (showing proportion of dividing tumour cells, and invasion of various drainage vessels). The first line of management of any melanoma is to resect that with good enough margin of healthy cells. After that the pathology result can tell us about the other prognostic factors. Your doctor can synthesize all the factors to tell you about the chances of full recovery.

  • 22


    Dr Roger Woods

    Plastic Surgeon

    Dr Woods is an accomplished Plastic Surgeon, caring for children and adults in Adelaide, who have cosmetic concerns or require reconstruction after cancer or injuries. … View Profile

    Amelanotic melanoma is an uncommon type of melanoma as the cells don't have as much of the melanin or brown pigment as we see normally.  This means that  they can appear as a pink lesion rather than a brown lesion.

    Because they are harder to identify, as they do not have the usual suspicious colour change of melanoma, Amelanotic melanoma is often identified at a later stage and is more advanced.  This is the main difference compared to the more common ‘melanotic’ or pigmented melanoma.

    Once diagnosed, the prognosis (or chance of survival) with amelanotic melanoma is the same as for melanotic melanoma -it depends on the depth (called Breslow thickness) most importantly, in addition to some other factors that are looked at on examination of the skin specimen. The thickness of 1.25mm is at an intermediate level, and with appropriate surgical care, has a good prognosis (5-10% risk of death in 5 years, 90-95% of survival). A specialist surgeon in your area will be able to counsel you and your family about this in  greater detail.  Good luck.

  • 4


    Beverly Solsky

    HealthShare Member

    Dear Dr Woods

    Thank you so much for your response you have certainly made the diagnosis much clearer I really appreciate it.



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