Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Oncologist. 2012;17(7):930-6. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2012-0033. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

More than just skin deep: faciocutaneous clues to genetic syndromes with malignancies.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China.


Genetic syndromes with dermatologic findings and multisystemic involvement (e.g., visceral cancer predisposition) are underrecognized. Patients may have incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity; some patients may solely exhibit subtle skin signs, which create a diagnostic challenge for physicians. Interdisciplinary diagnostic knowledge is required for the early diagnosis and monitoring of patients with these syndromes. Cutaneous changes in the face-one of the most highly exposed areas-can be easily noticed by patients themselves, their families and friends, and physicians; these changes may serve as early indicators of genetic syndromes with malignancies. In this article, we present examples of genetic syndromes with malignancies for which a thorough faciocutaneous examination is helpful in establishing a diagnosis. These examples include lentiginosis-related syndromes (e.g., Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Carney complex), photosensitivity-related syndromes (Bloom syndrome, Rothmund-Thomson syndrome), and hamartoma-related syndromes (Cowden syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, Gardner syndrome, Muir-Torre syndrome). The characteristics of these faciocutaneous clues are summarized and discussed. Objective evaluation of these faciocutaneous clues in combination with other clinical information (e.g., family history, histopathological findings, combination with other concomitant faciocutaneous lesions) is emphasized to narrow the diagnosis. The list of genetic syndromes with faciocutaneous manifestations is still expanding. Increased awareness of faciocutaneous markers can alert physicians to underlying syndromes and malignancies, render earlier screening and detection of associated medical issues, and allow for genetic counseling of family members.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center