Inderjit Mehmi, MD: Spreading Awareness of the Dangers of Mucosal Melanoma

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This interview featured Mehmi discussing a less well-known form of melanoma known as mucosal melanoma, a condition which he believes needs to be researched in greater depth.

In this HCPLive interview with Inderjit Mehmi, MD, he described the condition of mucosal melanoma, noting that while the condition is rare it is often life-threatening and difficult to diagnose by most clinicians.

Mehmi is known for his work as a Medical Oncologist for The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute - West Los Angeles, affiliated with Cedars-Sinai.

“I think most of the public is aware of melanoma in general, but I think often what they think of when they think of melanoma is skin cancers,” he explained. “As you know, there are a number of different types of melanomas, cutaneous or skin male melanoma is the most common of the melanomas. And the other two categories are mucosal melanoma and ocular uveal melanoma.”

The condition can occur in the mouth or the gut lining or other mucosal surfaces, which may include conjunctiva of the eye, gynecological organs, other gastroenterology organs.

“It's not as common as, as I said before, as cutaneous melanoma,” Mehmi noted. “But it definitely is a huge concern. It seems to be different in its biology from cutaneous or skin melanoma.”

Mehmi further elaborated on the disease’s characteristics as well as clinicians’ abilities to diagnose the condition.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the time, you may not see any symptoms of mucosal melanoma,” he said. “At times, depending on where it is, irritation, pain and, at times, bleeding could be some of the symptoms. And if it's a local small volume disease, they may not present with any symptoms.”

He then added that when the disease is more advanced and has infiltrated organs, that may potentially lead to some constitutional symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, and lack of energy or drive to do things.

“And on laboratory assessments, sometimes we can see what's called chronic disease anemia, depending on what organs are involved,” he said. “For example, if there’s liver involvement and we can see some increase in liver enzymes or at advanced stages, it could potentially disrupt the liver function itself.”

Overall, he stated that mucosal melanoma does not have a singular set of symptoms that one could point to and then diagnose easily.

For more information from Mehmi, view his full HCPLive interview segment above.