SKIN MALIGNANT MELANOMA
Cutaneous Melanoma; Metastatic Melanoma of the Skin; Skin Malignant Melanoma; Malignant Melanoma
Skin Malignant Melanoma is a lethal form of skin cancer that may develop anywhere on a person’s body. It most often develops in areas that have had exposure to the sun, such as the back, neck, legs, arms, and face. However, it may occur in areas that do not receive much sun exposure, such as the soles of feet, palms of hands, and on fingernail beds. Skin Malignant Melanoma with Metastases occurs when the malignant tumor spreads to other parts of the body.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTING, PHYSICAL FINDINGS, AND ICD-9-CM CODING
Diagnostic testing: A treating source may detect melanoma simply by looking at a person’s skin. However, a definitive diagnosis of malignant melanoma is a biopsy. After diagnosis, CT scans or other types of imaging may be done to determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body.
ICD-9: 172.0 - 172.9
ONSET AND PROGRESSION
The most dangerous aspect of malignant melanoma is its ability to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Metastasis most often includes local or distant lymph nodes, brain, lungs, liver, and bone. The risk of developing malignant melanoma increases with age; however, it is also seen in young adults and children over 10 years of age. Survival rates are related to the stage of the melanoma. In its most advanced and lethal stage (Stage IV), melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes or organs, and is often incurable.
Treatment for early-stage melanoma usually includes surgery to remove the melanoma. Surgery represents the only potentially curative modality; therefore, adequate excision is important to lessen the risk of a local recurrence. Even if a local recurrence after initial surgery can be successfully managed, individuals with this condition may die from subsequent metastatic disease. Treatment of recurrent malignant melanoma after initial treatment depends on the stage of the original melanoma, the prior treatment, and the site of recurrence, and may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation.
SUGGESTED PROGRAMMATIC ASSESSMENT*
Suggested MER for evaluation: The adjudicator needs medical evidence from treating sources and hospitals. The medical evidence should include clinical history and examination that describe the diagnostic features of the impairment, biopsy results, pathology reports, imaging testing, staging, pertinent treatment records, and up-to-date progress notes.
Suggested Listings for Evaluation:
13.29B2, or 13.29B3
Skin malignant melanoma meets the listings if it has metastases to clinically apparent lymph nodes; to at least four lymph nodes that are not clinically apparent; or to adjacent skin (for example, satellite lesions) or distant sites (for example, liver, lung, or brain).
| || |