Longitudinal clinicopathologic data of the progression of oral mucosal melanoma—report of 2 cases and literature review

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Oral mucosal melanoma (OMM) is notorious for having a poor prognosis. Recognition of the early features of OMM by both clinicians and pathologists can play an important role in improving survival. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to increase awareness of the early features of OMM, by presenting 2 cases with longitudinal clinical and histopathologic documentation showing progression of OMM from a deceptively bland premalignant (noninvasive) oral melanocytic lesion (POML). By analyzing the clinical and histopathologic features of POML in our cases, and those in the literature, we found that the concerning features are (1) clinically, a pigmented lesion violating the ABCDE criteria or showing multiple recurrences; and (2) histologically, a melanocytic proliferation, in either a lentiginous or pagetoid pattern with or without cellular atypia. Making a diagnosis of POML prospectively is often challenging. Increasing awareness of the clinical and histopathologic features and complete surgical excision of POML are emphasized.

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