cutaneous malignant melanoma; melanoma; skin neoplasms; neoplasm staging; TNM staging; biopsy; melanocytes; ABCDE; USPSTF; diagnosis


Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is a condition wherein malignant cells form in the melanocytic cells. CMM is a potentially lethal form of skin cancer, commonly found in sun-exposed areas of the body. There are multiple risk factors for disease development, such as genetic mutation and UV radiation among others. Diagnosis and staging is important in determining disease morbidity and mortality. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) have their respective guidelines and consensus on diagnosis, staging and treatment. It is imperative to delineate and educate primary care physicians on CMM, as they serve as the first line of defense in disease diagnosis. The purpose of this article is to provide a concise educational synopsis for primary care physicians.