Acral-lentiginous melanoma is a type of skin cancer that typically occurs on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or beneath the nails. It is a subtype of melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer that develops in the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) of the skin.
Acral-lentiginous melanoma is relatively rare compared to other types of melanoma, accounting for less than 5% of all cases. It is more common in people with darker skin tones, including people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent.
The exact causes of acral-lentiginous melanoma are not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors for acral-lentiginous melanoma include a family history of the disease, a personal history of other types of skin cancer, and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning beds.
Symptoms of acral-lentiginous melanoma can include a dark, irregularly shaped mole or patch of skin on the hands, feet, or nails that changes in size, shape, or color over time. It may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, bleeding, or ulceration of the affected area.
Diagnosis of acral-lentiginous melanoma typically involves a skin biopsy, in which a small sample of the affected tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to look for cancerous cells. If the diagnosis is confirmed, further tests may be done to determine the stage of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
Treatment for acral-lentiginous melanoma may involve surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, as well as other treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. The specific treatment plan will depend on the stage and severity of the cancer, as well as other individual factors such as age, overall health, and personal preferences.
Overall, acral-lentiginous melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment for the best possible outcome. People who are at increased risk for the disease, such as those with a family history or a personal history of skin cancer, should be vigilant about monitoring their skin for changes and seeking medical attention if they notice any suspicious moles or other skin lesions.