The authors present the case of a 73-year-old lady presenting with weight loss, personality changes, transient confusion and visual loss, 38 years after initial surgical excision of a melanoma of the neck. CT and MRI of the brain showed cerebral metastases and positron emission tomography (PET)-CT showed an additional fludeoxyglucose avid lesion in the lung, which was biopsied. Histology confirmed metastatic malignant melanoma. She declined whole brain radiotherapy in favour of best supportive care and died 4 months after diagnosis. Life-long vigilance among patients with previous melanoma and awareness among physicians are necessary if late recurrences are to be recognised early, and outcomes improved. New imaging techniques including PET-CT may be helpful in diagnosing and staging melanoma recurrence. Treatment options for patients presenting with distant metastases are limited and the prognosis remains poor.
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Competing interests None.
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