Superficial Spreading Melanoma

Superficial Spreading Melanoma

What is a Superficial Spreading Melanoma?

Superficial spreading melanoma (also known as "Superficially spreading melanoma (SSM) is a common form of cutaneous melanoma

The classification of being a Superficial Melanoma does not preclude invasion into lower layers of skin. 

Breslow Depth

Breslow refers to the skin depth of the melanoma. The Breslow Stage is used as a prognosis factor as it ranks how deeply the tumor cells have invaded. Breslow's depth was divided into 5 stages.

Superficial Spreading Melanoma Case Study

 Superficial Spreading Melanoma Picture

Superficial Spreading Melanoma Picture

Presentation

A 29 year old female presented with an invasive Superficial Spreading Melanoma (Breslow 1.2mm) on the hip.

Treatment

The patient had a wide-area excision, a negative Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, and was monitored 3 monthly for the first 2 years after her diagnosis.

Prognosis

In the 4 years since her initial diagnosis she has had a number of pre-cancerous (Atypical) moles removed and a solitary Basal Cell Carcinoma excised. Otherwise she has been well and is receiving 6 monthly ongoing checks including regular assessment for any nodal spread.


Superficial Spreading Melanoma Case Study

 Superficial Spreading Melanoma Picture

Superficial Spreading Melanoma Picture

Presentation

The lesion (Breslow 1.8mm) was found on the upper back of a 67 year male and was promptly widely excised.

This Superficial Spreading Melanoma demonstrates obvious asymmetry, multiple colours, and irregular borders and textures. It also has an obvious black invasive nodular component to the left.

Close inspection reveals the two ‘legs’ on the right have very different pigment networks in keeping with its chaotic nature.

Treatment

Local nodes were not assessed and the patient subsequently developed a number of metastases in the brain and in several ribs.

Prognosis

He was referred to a specialist unit and is currently receiving Immunotherapy - which has been effective in dramatically shrinking his metastases. This promotes the possibility of a remission which occurs in approximately 20% of advanced Melanoma cases.

This is recent development as treatments such as Targeted and Immunotherapies have dramatically improved outcomes. These treatments have revolutionised the management of Metastatic Melanoma and have provided new hope for patients that modern medicine could previously offer little help.


Superficial Spreading Melanoma Case Study

 Superficial Spreading Melanoma Picture

Superficial Spreading Melanoma Picture

Presentation

A 57 year old female presented with a small non-invasive Superficial Spreading Melanoma arising from a pre-existing naevus (mole).

Treatment

We treated this SSM with a prompt local wide-area excision.

Prognosis

The patient was lost contact and did not respond to follow-up requests and so her outcome is currently unknown. We hope she is having regular tests as her risk factors are higher than the average.