When Actinic Keratosis (Pre-Skin Cancer) is Not Actinic Keratosis

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Got Spots (Actinic Keratosis-pre-skin cancer) on Your Bald Head? Get a Closer Look to Distinguish AK vs. IC vs. SCC-

Image showing an actinic keratosis

I’m bald. I have spots on my head (AK?) I burned badly as a kid. Frequently. I had a bone marrow transplant and radiation therapy for a different cancer. I have six of the risk factors listed below.

When I found the study below I learned how complicated AK or pre-skin cancer can be. At the same time I was researching and writing a blog post about how important a dermoscope was when making diagnoses of any and all skin lesions.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer at a Glance-

  • Risks UV Exposure, HPV, Genetics, Skin Pigment, Immunosuppression, Radiation Therapy, Age, Previous Skin Cancer,
  • Symptoms Itching, Bleeding, Shape (A,B,C,D,E).
  • Diagnosis Visual inspection (A,B,C,D,E), Skin Biopsy (Shave, Punch, Incisional/Excisional)
  • Prognosis- Staging-
  • Therapy Conventional, Non-Conventional, Integrative, Alternative

 I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. To learn more about evidence-based, non-toxic therapies to reduce your risk of skin cancer scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Dermatoscopy of facial actinic keratosis, intraepidermal carcinoma, and invasive squamous cell carcinoma: a progression model.

“Little is known about the dermoscopic features of keratinocyte skin cancer…

We sought to determine the dermoscopic features of facial actinic keratosis (AK), intraepidermal carcinoma (IEC), moderately to poorly differentiated invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and well-differentiated SCC of the keratoacanthoma type

A total of 243 (70 AK, 71 IEC, 78 SCC, and 24 keratoacanthomas) tumors of the face from 243 patients were analyzed. The majority of patients had a fair skin type, history of melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer, and multiple AK. A red pseudonetwork was significantly associated with AK, whereas dotted/glomerular vessels, diffuse yellow opaque scales, and microerosions were significantly more prevalent among IEC.

  • Hairpin vessels,
  • Linear-irregular vessels,
  • Targetoid hair follicles,
  • White structureless areas,
  • A central mass of keratin, and
  • Ulceration

were significantly associated with invasive SCC (P < .001 for all criteria). Similar patterns as in SCC were observed among keratoacanthomas.”


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