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Why is survival after diagnosis of amelanotic melanoma is poorer than after pigmented melanoma?

Amelanotic melanomas means the melanoma looks pink or plain with no colour in it. Its incidence is 2-8% of all melanomas.

The below study concluded that, “At the population level, survival after diagnosis of amelanotic melanoma is poorer than after pigmented melanoma because of its more advanced stage at diagnosis. It is probable that amelanotic melanomas present at more advanced tumour stages because they are difficult to diagnose”.

Apart from delay in diagnosis there could be other reasons:

  • Present to the doctor at a more advanced stage than pigmented melanomas?
  • Lack of recognition by the patient?
  • More aggressive growth?
  • Overlooked by the doctor and missed at an earlier stage?

This indicates to me that you should be more vigilant in any new moles (especially if they are changing)  and report to your doctor. You should also choose a doctor who has undergone advanced training to recognise and pick up these nasty melanomas early.

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