Logotipo del SMU


Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.21 - Nº 4 - Dic. 2005

Index | Next Art

History of malignant melanoma in Uruguay

Rev Med Urug 2005; 21: 255-268
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


Malignant melanoma is increasingly notorious due to a rise of its incidence in the last decades, but there were cases recorded in the XVIII century. There is a surgical specimen in Hunterian Museum of London from a patient operated by John Hunter in 1787.

Many European authors published papers in the XIX century. Some of them included autopsy and the first histological studies that allowed the identification of this condition.

Dr. Brito Foresti published the first case in the Revista Médica del Uruguay one hundred years ago under the name of melanoma sarcoma.

In the second half of the XX century, scientific knowledge of melanoma was more precise as a consequence of its incidence and the growth of mortality rates.

In Uruguay, as in many Mediterranean countries, there was an increase of its incidence, particularly in women as it was shown by the Honorary Committee against Cancer (Comisión Honoraria de Lucha Contra el Cáncer)..

The Hospital de Clínicas ?Dr. Manuel Quintela? represents the WHO Melanoma Program in Uruguay, a program that account for 82 cancer groups of 28 countries.

This programme has established some guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment: 1) importance of deep of lesion (Breslow); 2) importance of ulceration on prognosis and treatment; 3) accuracy of resection margins; 4) study on sentinel node; 5) adjuvants therapies; 6) primary and secondary prevention; 7) value of genetic studies. Uruguay participate in these studies with own clinical cases.

Considering the importance of ultraviolet radiation in melanoma pathology the Faculty of Sciences and the Meteorology National Institute conducted one study on the depletion of Ozone layer in Uruguay.

The members of the Unit of Melanoma of the Oncology Department of the Hospital de Clínicas has contributed with special dedication on behalf this publication.