Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2004. Updated by Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, January 2016.
What are cutaneous markers of internal malignancy?
Skin changes can often be the first sign of a deeper problem including an internal malignancy. Signs of skin disease may precede, occur with, or follow the detection of an associated cancer. These skin diseases can be a feature of an undiagnosed cancer and may be the prompt for a thorough examination in patients. Or in a patient whose cancer is in remission, these skin diseases may be the initial sign of the cancer recurring.
Cutaneous markers can be classified into 2 major types:
Genetically determined syndromes with a cutaneous component (genodermatoses) that predispose at risk individuals to develop cancer
Paraneoplastic syndromes which occur as a result of circulating factor(s) or presumed factors produced by the underlying cancer
Skin diseases that come under the group of genodermatoses include: