CNS Melanomas intercranial


Melanoma is a malignant tumor that develops in the melanocytes – cells that produce melanin and are found in the skin, hair and eye membranes. Melanin is a substance that determines skin pigmentation.

Though melanoma is only 5% of skin cancers, it causes 75% of deaths from skin cancer.

When melanoma occurs on skin it is called cutaneous melanoma. Melanoma can occur in the eye (ocular melanoma or intraocular) and rarely in other areas where melanocytes are found, such as digestive tract, meningx, or lymph nodes. When melanoma has spread (metastasized) cancer cells are found in lymph and also possibly in other parts of the body such as liver, lungs or brain.

Melanoma develops when pigment-producing cells called melanocytes become abnormal, grow uncontrollably and invade surrounding tissues. Usually only one melanoma develops at a time. Although melanoma can occur on the surface of an existing mole or other skin tumors, most of them locate unmarked skin. Melanoma is classified as primary or metastatic.

• Primary Melanoma

Primary melanoma usually follows a kind of proliferation in the skin layers. Early detection and surgery to remove melanoma cure most cases of primary melanoma. Without treatment, most melanomas spread .Cutaneous melanoma usually occurs not so early as malignant melanomas.

• Metastatic Melanoma

Metastatic melanoma spreads through the lymphatic system of the skin near the tumor, lymph nodes or by marrow (by blood) to other organs such as brain or liver. Metastatic melanoma usually cannot be cured. Early detection gives the best chance of cure. It is very common that the cutaneous melanoma to become a neural metastasis. This disease is one of the most important causes for cerebral metastases. This type of melanoma is most frequent as primary melanoma. The common localization is frontal and parietal lobes.

Early Symptoms

The most important warning sign for melanoma is change in size, shape or color of moles or other skin growths, such as birthmarks.

Signs of melanoma and changes in moles include:

– Height – such as deep invasion or rising above flat mole

– Surface – like redness, swelling or the appearance of new small black spots around the larger lesion (pigmented satellite)

– Itching, tingling or burning the lesion

– Consistency of crumbly, soft small pieces that break easily.

Although melanoma can develop anywhere on the skin, it occurs most commonly in the chest in both men and women and on the legs in women.

Other symptoms:

– An ulcerative skin lesion or bleeding from a mole or other colored skin lesion

– pain in moles or lesions.

Symptoms of metastatic melanoma may be vague and include:

– Lymphadenitis (swollen lymph nodes), especially the glands in the armpit


If the doctor suspects that a spot on the skin is melanoma, a biopsy is done. A biopsy is the only way to establish a clear diagnosis. In this procedure, the doctor removes part or whole knob. A pathologist then examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancerous cells. CT and MR scanning are the proper methods to diagnose the disease.


To relief symptoms and prolong life expectancy, steroids are used by the patient.

For skin tumors, survival depends on tumor depth and the precocity of diagnosis. Developed melanomas on mucous membranes have a poor prognosis. After metastatic melanoma, survival at 5 years is 10%.


Treatment consists of surgical excision with safety margins. After the surgery under local anesthesia, the area is cauterized with an electrical current. Cryosurgery

For some small tumors, localized superficial cryosurgery is used (using liquid nitrogen) to destroy the affected tissue.

Laser beam is used to kill cancer cells. Laser photocoagulation is sometimes used for cancers that affect only the outer layer of skin.


Radiotherapy is sometimes used to treat cancer where surgery is difficult to make (eyelid, nose, etc.).

cancer, cells, early, lymph, melanoma, melanomas, metastatic, primary, skin