Definition of Breslow thickness
Named for the physician Alexander Breslow who in 1975 observed that as the thickness of the tumor increases, the chance of survival goes down. For example, a thickness of the melanoma of less than 1.0 millimeters is associated with a 5-year survival of 97% of patients whereas a tumor thickness of more than 8.0 millimeters is associated with 5-year survival of 32%.
The Breslow thickness has come into wider use than an older system, the Clark level of invasion, a method devised by the pathologist Wallace Clark for measuring the depth of penetration of a melanoma into the skin according to anatomic layer (the epidermis, dermis, and the subcutis) of deepest tumor penetration.
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012
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