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Dermatology Online Journal

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Polypoid amelanotic melanoma: a diagnostic challenge


Melanoma is a highly aggressive cutaneous malignancy with considerable risk for metastasis. These malignant tumors are typically pigmented given that they arise from melanocytes capable of producing melanin. Amelanotic melanomas are a rare variant and there is often a delay in diagnosis owing to lack of pigmentation. Although there are various presentations of amelanotic melanoma, a solitary polypoid nodule is unusual and warrants further reporting. Herein, we present a patient with a 3-year history of a tender firm, skin-to-pink colored polypoid nodule. Excisional biopsy and work up showed an aggressive amelanotic melanoma with depth of 20mm and nodal metastasis consistent with stage IIIC disease. This case highlights the necessity of recognition and prompt management of this rare subtype of melanoma.

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