Epidemiology

Approximately 15-20% of all malignant melanomas arise in head and neck sites, and of these over 80% are of cutaneous origin. Of the approximate remaining 20%, the majority are of ocular origin; mucosal malignant melanomas (MMM) of the upper aerodigestive tract represent from 0.5-3% of melanomas of all sites {735}. In the upper aerodigestive tract, the most common site of occurrence is the sinonasal tract. PLMMM are extremely rare, with less than 60 cases reported in the literature {51,77,631, 1277,1516,1668,1843,2754,2755}. PLMMM are much more common in men than in women with over 80% of cases occurring in men {2754}. PLMMM occur over a wide age range from 35-86 years with an average age of 58 years, and are most frequent in the 6th and 7th decades of life. Most cases of PLMMM occur in Caucasians but Blacks are also affected.

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