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Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors

Carcinoma (non-adnexal)

Metastatic carcinoma to skin

Reviewer: Christopher Hale, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 15 July 2012, last major update June 2012
Copyright: (c) 2001-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


Men: usually from lung (25%), colon, melanoma, kidney, upper aerodigestive tract
Women: usually from breast (69%), lung, melanoma, kidney, ovary
● Metastasis is often close to site of primary

Case reports

● 73 year old woman with adenocarcinoma of the colon (ISRN Surg 2011;2011:902971)
● 83 year old woman with bladder urothelial carcinoma (J Clin Pathol 2006;59:1331)
● 91 year old woman with breast adenocarcinoma metastatic to the eyelid (BMJ 2007;334:1228)

Gross description

● Variable
● Often multiple firm, nonulcerated nodules
● May be solitary

Gross images

Various images of cutaneous metastases

Micro images

Metastatic breast cancer is p63 negative (basal epidermis is p63+)

Metastatic bladder urothelial carcinoma

Negative stains

● p63 is negative in metastatic adenocarcinoma vs. positive in cutaneous adnexal tumors (Mod Pathol 2005;18:137), although primary cutaneous adnexal tumors with apocrine or mucinous differentiation may be p63 negative (Mod Pathol 2010;23:713)

Differential diagnosis

● Sweat gland tumor: may resemble metastatic renal cell carcinoma
● Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans: may resemble metastatic signet ring carcinoma
● Merkel cell carcinoma: resembles neuroendocrine metastases

End of Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors > Carcinoma (non-adnexal) > Metastatic carcinoma to skin

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