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Mucocutaneous Signs of Systemic Cancers

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ICD-9: 199.0 ○ ICD-10: M8000/6

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  • Mucocutaneous findings may suggest systemic cancers in several ways:

    • Associations of heritable mucocutaneous disorders with systemic cancers.

    • By action at a distance, i.e., paraneoplastic syndromes.

    • Or spread of cancer to the skin or mucosal sites by direct, lymphatic, or hematogenous extension (cutaneous metastasis).

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Classification of Skin Signs of Systemic Cancer

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Metastatic Cancers

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Persistent Tumor
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Lymphatic extension, hematogenous spread.1

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Direct Extension
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Paget disease, extramammary Paget disease.

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Lymphomas with secondary skin involvement (Section 21).

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1Conditions covered in this section are printed in bold, conditions dealt with in other sections are in italics. Numbers in parentheses indicate page numbers. Rare conditions not discussed in this book are described in CA deWitt et al, in K Wolff et al (eds): Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine 7th ed. New York, McGraw-Hill, 2008, pp. 1493–1507.

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Heritable Disorders

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Cowden Syndrome
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Peutz–Jeghers Syndrome
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Multiple endocrine neoplasia (types 1 and 2b).

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Paraneoplastic Syndromes

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Acanthosis nigricans, malignant, tripe palms.

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Acquired ichthyosis.

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Bazex syndrome.

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Carcinoid syndrome.

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Ectopic ACTH syndrome.

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Erythema gyratum repens.

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Gardner syndrome.

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Glucagonoma syndrome.

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Hypertrichosis lanuginosa.

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Muir–Torre syndrome.

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Palmar keratoses.

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Paraneoplastic pemphigus.

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Pruritus.

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Metastatic Cancer to the Skin

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ICD-9: 199.0 ○ ICD-10: M8000/6*

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  • Metastatic cancer to the skin is characterized by solitary or multiple dermal or subcutaneous nodules, occurring as metastatic cells from a distant noncontiguous primary malignant neoplasm.

  • They are transported to and deposited in the skin or subcutaneous tissue by one of the following routes:

    • Lymphatic routes.

    • Hematogenous spread.

    • Contiguous spread across the peritoneal cavity or other tissues.

  • Skin lesions nodule (Figs. 19-1 and 19-2), raised plaque, thickened fibrotic area. First detected when <5 mm. Fibrotic area may resemble morphea; occurring on scalp, may produce alopecia. Initially, epidermis is intact, stretched over nodule; in time, surface may become ulcerated (Fig. 19-3) or hyperkeratotic. May appear inflammatory, i.e., pink to red or hemorrhagic. Firm to indurated. May be solitary, few, or multiple. May acquire considerable size and may be mistaken for a primary skin cancer (Fig. 19-3).

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Figure 19-1.

Metastatic cancer to the skin: bronchogenic cancer Dermal nodules on the scalp of a patient undergoing chemotherapy for metastatic lung cancer; the nodules were only apparent following loss of hair during chemotherapy. The nodule on the left is asymptomatic, erythematous, ...

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