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Tumours of the skin 

Tumours of the skin
Tumours of the skin

Edel O’Toole

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date: 27 February 2021

A variety of tumours, both benign and malignant, are found in skin. Benign skin lesions, such as seborrhoeic keratoses and skin tags, are often just a cosmetic nuisance, but some benign skin lesions can be a component of diseases with serious medical consequences (e.g. neurofibromatosis or LEOPARD syndrome). Skin cancer is the most common human cancer and its incidence continues to increase. It most commonly affects older, fair-skinned individuals who have had either acute intermittent exposure to ultraviolet light or chronic ultraviolet light exposure. Organ transplant recipients have a 200-fold increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma. About 2% of patients who develop skin cancer have a genetic predisposition, for example, Gorlin’s syndrome in basal cell carcinoma and familial melanoma syndromes in malignant melanoma. Mutations in the PTCH gene cause Gorlin’s syndrome, and loss of heterozygosity at that locus is also present in most sporadic basal cell carcinoma.

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