This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is a type of melanoma that occurs on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. The condition can develop in normal-appearing skin or within an existing mole. ALM begins as a flat patch of discolored skin that may enlarge slowly over time. Although the cancer cells often remain contained at the skins surface (epidermis) initially, ALM can become invasive and spread as the condition advances. Like other flat forms of melanoma, it can be recognized by the ABCDE rule. Although ALM affects men and women of all skin colors equally, is it most commonly diagnosed in people over age 40. The underlying cause of ALM is poorly understood. It is not related to sun exposure like other forms of skin cancer. Initial treatment generally consists of surgery to remove the skin lesion. Additional therapy (such as radiation therapy or immunotherapy) may then be recommended depending on the severity of the condition.
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