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Asians with Large Nevi May Have Low Melanoma Risk

None of 36 Asians with large congenital melanocytic nevi in study developed malignancy

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although white patients with large congenital melanocytic nevi (LCMN) can have a lifetime melanoma risk as high as 10 percent, none of 36 Asians with LCMN developed cancer after almost 17 years, according to the results of a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Yuin-Chew Chan, M.B.B.S., of the National Skin Centre in Singapore, and a colleague calculated the lifetime melanoma risk for 39 patients with LCMN covering 5 percent to 40 percent of their bodies. Twenty-nine patients were Chinese, six were Malaysian, one was Indian and three were white.

After an average 16.9-year follow-up, only one patient underwent laser removal and treatment of a small part of his LCMN, the researchers report. Skin biopsies of nodules in five patients revealed no cancer, and no patients developed any type of malignancy, the report indicates.

"The risk of melanoma development in LCMN within a predominantly Southeast Asian cohort appears to be very low," the authors write. "Prophylactic complete excision of LCMN is ideal, but seldom achievable. Hence, patient education, regular melanoma surveillance and biopsy of suspicious lesions are very important."

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