Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Malignant Melanoma, Anus

  • Denis ChatelainEmail author
  • Jean-François Fléjou
Reference work entry


Anal melanoma


Anal melanoma is a rare and aggressive mucosal melanocytic malignancy, first described by Moore in 1857.

It constitutes 0.5–2% of all anal malignancies and represents less than 2% of all melanomas. The anus is the third most common site for melanoma after the skin and the eye and is the most common site for primary gastrointestinal melanoma.

Patients usually present with anal bleeding (the most common complaints in 50–90% of patients), anal or perianal mass (30%) or anal pain (10%); they can also complain of tenesmus, change in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation, or incontinence. If a metastatic disease is present, symptoms may include weight loss, anemia, fatigue, groin masses, or bowel obstruction. The average time between the occurrence of symptoms and a confirmed diagnosis is 5–6 months, because patients tend to delay presentation to their doctors, they cannot see asymptomatic lesions and symptoms of anal melanoma are commonly misdiagnosed as...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Droesch, J. T., Flum, D. R., & Mann, G. N. (2005). Wide local excision or abdominoperineal resection as the initial treatment for anorectal melanoma? American Journal of Surgery, 189, 446–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Heeney, A., Mulsow, J., & Hyland, J. M. (2011). Treatment and outcomes of anorectal melanoma. The Surgeon, 9, 27–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ni, S., Huang, D., Chen, X., Huang, J., Kong, Y., Xu, Y., Du, X., & Sheng, W. (2012). c-kit gene mutation and CD117 expression in human anorectal melanomas. Human Pathology, 43, 801–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Singer, M., & Mutch, M. G. (2006). Anal melanoma. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 19, 78–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Stefanou, A., & Nalamati, S. P. (2011). Anorectal melanoma. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 24, 171–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service d’Anatomie PathologiqueCentre Hospitalier et Universitaire du NordAmiensFrance
  2. 2.Faculté de Médecine Pierre et Marie Curie, Service d’Anatomie et Cytologie PathologiquesHôpital Saint-AntoineParisFrance