An Expert Consensus Panel on Field Cancerization and How to Appropriately Treat It

An Expert Consensus Panel on Field Cancerization and How to Appropriately Treat It

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, May 14, 2024 / — Actinic keratoses (AKs) are a type of skin lesion that are pre-skin cancers caused by excessive sun exposure. They are incredibly common, with an estimated 40 million people in the US being affected. AKs have the potential to turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which was responsible for 9,000 deaths in the US in 2012. For these reasons, it is important to treat these lesions to prevent them from becoming dangerous cancers.

In a study in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine®, Danny Zakria, MD and his co-authors discuss the impact of long-term sun exposure and the concept of field cancerization, an idea where the skin neighboring a pre-skin cancer is also more likely to become skin cancer than normal skin. The expert panel of nine dermatologists agreed that this is a real health concern in sun-damaged skin and that patients need to be better educated on prevention and treatment. In addition, they state that field therapies, a treatment that targets the entire area of the skin, should be the top treatment choice for these patients.

Doctors need to recognize the idea of field cancerization and recommend care to patients with this idea in mind. Also, patients can be better informed of this concept as well as the options that exist for them for prevention and treatment. Given how common skin cancer has become, both doctors and patients must be aware of this information and the best way to treat these precancers.

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.

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Zakria, D., Shah, M., Burshtein, J., Berman, B., Bhatia, N., Ceilley, R., Farberg, A., Lebwohl, M., Merritt, D., Nouri, K., Stein Gold, L., & Rigel, D. (2024). The Role of Field Cancerization in Selecting Therapies for Actinic Keratosis: An Expert Consensus Panel. SKIN The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine, 8(3), 1478–1487.

Danny Zakria