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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Identifying Melanoma or Sarcoma
My daughter is waiting on biopsy reports. They have been sent to several places and the diagnosis has been "favorable" to melanoma 2 times, but one melanoma oncologist believes it is a sarcoma of the cartilage. Are there a lot of similarities of these two cancers? How do we know which treatment to do?
There is a sarcoma of the cartilage, but is fairly uncommon in the skin and does not usually resemble a melanoma, though it can be difficult to distinguish. I suspect that the appropriate term that you are looking for is a clear cell sarcoma, also called a melanoma of soft tissue. Distinguishing between a clear cell sarcoma and a melanoma is more difficult. They look similar even with special testing. The clinical history in combination with the pathology is often required to distinguish between the two.
Kord Honda, MD
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University