September 01, 2015
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Nonmelanoma skin cancer in children, young adults associated with risk factors

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Almost half of children and young adults with nonmelanoma skin cancer were exposed to risk factors, according to recently published study results.

Researchers in Boston conducted a retrospective chart review of 28 children and young adults (aged 22 years or younger) with 182 nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) between 1993 and 2014. Seven patients were diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 19 had basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and two patients were diagnosed with SCC and BCC.

Fifty percent of patients had predisposing conditions, while 46% had iatrogenic risk factors, including prolonged immunosuppression, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, voriconazole use or a combination of the factors. Subsequent cancerous or precancerous skin lesions developed in 62% of the patients with iatrogenic risk factors. Chemotherapy and voriconazole exposures were not the sole risk factors, the researchers wrote.

There was a mean time of 948 days from lesion to diagnosis of NMSC (667 days for SCC, 1,176 days for BCC). Thirty-six percent of patients initially received a misdiagnosis, including viral wart, graft-versus-host disease, psoriasis, acrochordon, nevus and atypical nevus. Surgical excision was performed on the majority of patients.

“We identified 28 patients with a total of 182 cases of NMSC over a 21-year period, suggesting that NMSC is a rare yet recurrent problem in affected children and young adults,” the researchers wrote.

“Physicians should be aware of risk factors that predispose a child or young adult to skin cancer so that appropriate counseling and monitoring along with early recognition and treatment can be provided,” the researchers concluded. – by Bruce Thiel

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.