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Nodular Melanoma and Lentigo Maligna Melanoma

Nodular melanoma and lentigo maligna melanoma grow as large lesions and they show irregular mottling. Nodular melanoma grows on the head and neck. Lentigo maligna melanoma is a melanoma that is more benign and grows on the neck and face of older white women.

Nodular Melanoma (NM)

This type of melanoma is found in about 20% of cases. Nodular melanoma grows more aggressively, is more common in males.

It tends to occur in middle age and likes to grow on the trunk, the neck and head. These lesions are sharply demarcated from the normal skin. They are raised and dome shaped because of a vertical growth pattern. The color is blue/black and resembles a blood blister. They are typically about 1 or 2 cm in diameter. Occasionally they grow like a cauliflower and about 5% are not pigmented, in which case they look flesh colored.

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma (LMM)

About 5% of melanoma cases present in this way. This melanoma is much more benign and tends to not metastasize. However, it can cause problems because of its size. It tends to grow on the face or neck of older white women. They are large lesions (see image), about 3 cm in diameter or bigger, typically tan colored, with different shades of brown. As the lesions enlarge, irregular mottling or flecking occurs with areas of dark brown or black.

Nodular Melanoma

Nodular Melanoma


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Last modified: April 18, 2021

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.