Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Melanoma diagnosed during pregnancy and within the following year is known as pregnancy-associated melanoma. The prevalence of diagnosed melanoma has been increasing over the years. Over 30% of women diagnosed with melanoma are in their prime for having children. The current trend of conceiving children later in life has increased the likelihood of developing melanoma while pregnant. Pigment changes are common during pregnancy; however, any suspicious lesion concerning melanoma should be removed by an excisional biopsy with no delay. Management is based on the stage of melanoma and requires a multidisciplinary team. Treatment includes a wide local excision under local anesthesia, possible sentinel lymph node biopsy, and, in some cases, systemic therapy. All treatments depend on the melanoma staging and gestational age of the fetus. Women planning pregnancy who have had a successful melanoma treatment must be counseled on the risk of recurrence. Primary prevention and education on sun protection are essential in preventing the diagnosis of melanoma. Future research needs to be done to fully understand the influence of pregnancy on developing melanoma.
Patterson AW. Evaluation and Management of Pregnancy-Associated Melanoma. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2023; 5(2).
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