The Diagnosis and Management of Common Skin Tumours

  • N. P. Smith
Part of the New Clinical Applications book series (NCDM, volume 7)


The skin is a complex organ derived embryologically from many different ectodermal and mesodermal structures. As well as the stratified squamous epithelium of the true epidermis, there are glandular structures, blood and lymphatic vessels, connective tissue, fat, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and numerous fixed tissue and circulating inflammatory cells, which can all on occasions produce skin tumours. The aetiology of these lesions depends on genetic as well as environmental factors. It is well known that some families are prone to develop malignant melanoma more frequently than the general population1. Other epithelial-derived tumours of the skin that may be familial include pilar cysts and some of the adnexal tumours such as cylindroma and trichoepithelioma2. Genetic defects in the ability to repair DNA damage satisfactorily are an important cause of the development of cutaneous tumours in xeroderma pigmentosum3, and it is well known that individuals with a fair skin, red hair and a freckling tendency are at an increased risk of developing both epithelial and melanocytic malignant tumours. The basal cell naevus syndrome4 is another example of an inherited condition in which there is a genetic predisposition to the development of basal cell epitheliomas in addition to many other cutaneous and non-cutaneous abnormalities.


Basal Cell Carcinoma Actinic Keratose Tinea Capitis Basaloid Cell Epidermal Nevus 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

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  • N. P. Smith

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