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Created December 2019.
A keratinocyte cancer is a malignant neoplasm formed from keratinocytes, either from basal cell keratinocytes or squamous cell keratinocytes — the building blocks of the epidermis.
Keratinocyte cancers are cancers of the skin. They are classified as:
Actinic keratosis is a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma.
Keratinocyte cancers are the most common form of skin cancer and the most common form of cancer in humans. They are predominantly diagnosed in older white-skinned people who have worked outdoors or who have suffered from multiple episodes of sunburn.
They are particularly prevalent in Australia and New Zealand.
Keratinocyte cancers are primarily caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Other contributing causes include:
Keratinocyte cancers present as solitary, enlarging skin lesions.
They may be scaly or smooth, skin coloured or pigmented, intact or ulcerated, painless or painful.
Keratinocyte cancers are destructive and often cause ulceration and scarring.
Dermoscopy of keratinocyte skin cancer
Occasionally, radiation therapy is used to treat keratinocyte cancer.
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