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Management of Malignant Melanoma of the Head and Neck

      The management of malignant melanoma of the head and neck is based on results of excisional or incisional biopsy findings. The thickness of the lesion dictates the extent of reexcision of the biopsy site and the appropriateness of elective node dissection. Because narrow margins of excision are usually adequate, primary closure of the postoperative defect is often possible. At the Mayo Clinic, the 5-year survival of patients with stage I malignant melanoma of the head and neck has been 70%. Except for patients with extremely thin (noninvasive) melanomas, follow-up surveillance, including physical examination of the head and neck region and chest roentgenography, is important.
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