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Multiple melanoma in a burns scar
  1. Phillip Cantwell1 and
  2. Adrian Brooks2
  1. 1 Plastic Surgery, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Plastic Surgery, Joondalup Health Campus, Joondalup, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Phillip Cantwell, pcc998{at}


It is well known that up to 2% of chronic burn scar lesions can transform into malignant tumours, however, melanoma formation at these sites is extremely rare. This case report describes a burns case, which progressed to four melanomas in a 78-year-old male patient’s little finger, 40 years after the initial incident. The patient underwent 3 mm punch biopsies, then digital amputation of the finger with pathology-proven melanoma. Histopathology investigation demonstrated three melanoma in situ and one invasive melanoma with a Breslow thickness of 1 mm. These findings are rare with few reports of melanoma in burn scars in the literature. This case report highlights the vigilance required from clinicians when performing skin examinations, and the importance of biopsies to newly pigmented lesions.

  • dermatology
  • plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • general practice / family medicine
  • skin cancer

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  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Contributors PC took leadership in performing research and writing of this manuscript. AB was the consultant for this patient and was involved in obtaining collection of results and drafting of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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