Malignant Melanoma of the Oral Cavity
Oral malignant melanoma (OMM) accounts for 5% of all oral malignancies. It is a rare aggressive neoplasm usually found on the hard palate and gingiva. The etiology is unknown, but tobacco and chronic irritation are suggested as probable causative factors. Over 30% of the cases have been reported to arise from pre-existing pigmented lesions. A biopsy is required to establish the diagnosis and the treatment of choice is surgery which may be affected by several factors such as size of the lesion and anatomic location. Despite aggressive resection and adjuvant treatments such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, the five-year survival rate of this malignancy is poor.