Your question: How do you distinguish clinically between benign and malignant pigmented lesions?

What are the abnormal characteristics of pigmented lesions?

Pigmented lesions often involve melanin (brown pigment), resulting in small or large areas of the skin appearing brown, black or even blue in colour. Although most often benign (harmless), pigmented lesions can also be malignant (cancerous) in some cases.

What are the types of malignant and benign melanocytic tumors?

Melanocytic tumors are neoplastic proliferations of cells featuring phenotypic characteristics of melanocytes. The large majority originates in the skin. Benign melanocytic tumors are melanocytic nevi (or nevocellular nevi or, briefly, nevi, or “moles”), malignant ones are melanomas.

Is melanocytic nevus benign or malignant?

Melanocytic nevi, if diagnosed properly, are biologically stable, completely benign lesions. However, melanocytic nevi can be found in association with melanoma.

What is the difference between nevus cells and melanocytes?

Nevus cells are a variant of melanocytes. They are larger than typical melanocytes, do not have dendrites, and have more abundant cytoplasm with coarse granules. They are usually located at the dermoepidermal junction or in the dermis of the skin.

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What causes pigmented lesion?

What are pigmented lesions? These skin spots and growths are caused by melanocyte cells in the skin. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin, the substance that gives color (pigment) to the skin.

What do lesions look like?

Skin lesions are areas of skin that look different from the surrounding area. They are often bumps or patches, and many issues can cause them. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery describe a skin lesion as an abnormal lump, bump, ulcer, sore, or colored area of the skin.

What things can be malignant?

In a medical context, the word malignant is used to describe harmful masses or tumors that are cancerous and that grow and spread disease. The word benign is the opposite—it’s used to describe masses or tumors that are not cancerous (those that do not spread disease to other parts of the body).

Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

Where does melanoma usually spread to first?

Normally, the first place a melanoma tumor metastasizes to is the lymph nodes, by literally draining melanoma cells into the lymphatic fluid, which carries the melanoma cells through the lymphatic channels to the nearest lymph node basin.

Can a nevus turn into melanoma?

Yes — but most dysplastic nevi do not turn into melanoma. Most types of atypical moles remain stable over time. Patients with five or more dysplastic nevi are 10 times more likely to develop melanoma than individuals with no atypical moles.

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Does melanocytic mean melanoma?

Melanocytes: These are the cells that can become melanoma. They normally make a brown pigment called melanin, which gives the skin its tan or brown color. Melanin protects the deeper layers of the skin from some of the harmful effects of the sun.

Which disorders are precursors to malignant melanoma?

The precursors to melanoma are generally considered to be related to nevi of different types. Here we emphasize the dysplastic nevus, the congenital nevus, and lentigo maligna as specific lesions. The dysplastic nevus is discussed not only as a formal precursor but also as a marker of cutaneous melanoma.