Trauma and melanoma formation: a true association?
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
British Journal of Dermatology
Volume 143, Issue 4, pages 749–753, October 2000
How to Cite
Kaskel, P., Kind, P., Sander, S., Peter, R.U. and Krähn, G. (2000), Trauma and melanoma formation: a true association?. British Journal of Dermatology, 143: 749–753. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2000.03770.x
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
- Accepted for publication 14 April 2000
- diagnostic delay;
- medico-legal aspects;
Background Little is known about the role of mechanical trauma in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma. In individual patients, traumatic events have been discussed as a causative factor for the induction of melanoma and diagnosis of melanoma following trauma may raise medico-legal questions. Objectives To evaluate the relationship between traumatic single or recurrent events and melanoma characteristics. Methods Retrospective questionnaire in 369 melanoma patients. Results A large number of patients (337 of 369; 91·3%) denied an association between a possible traumatic event and melanoma formation. Thirty-two of 369 patients (8·7%) considered an association of trauma and melanoma formation likely. Of these 32 patients, 22 patients (13 men, nine women) reported a single event, and 10 patients (four men, six women) a persisting irritation. An irritation of a pre-existing melanocytic naevus was reported by two patients with histologically confirmed melanoma on acquired or congenital naevus. Conclusions As most of the patients who mentioned a trauma in this study suffered from acral melanoma, or melanoma located on the extremities, a history of trauma should be expected more frequently at these body sites. A review of epidemiological, clinical and scientific research indicates that there seems to be no evidence for single or persistent traumatic events as a causative factor for melanoma formation.