Skin cancer checks in psoriasis

Hilton L

Dermatology Times. 2018;39(9).

The risk of malignancy associated with psoriasis has created cause for concern as more awareness of comorbidities accompanying this disease has surfaced. While there is still inconsistent information on the topic, Doctor Megan Noe addresses the consistencies that are present. “Patients with psoriasis are at an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.” Dr. Noe urges patients, even with well controlled psoriasis, to undergo annual skin checks. For patients at increased risk and for those with a history of cancer, special consideration for treatment options is required. Dermatologists will tend to avoid biologics – as they typically also increase the risk of developing cancer – and select a treatment option such as phototherapy to avoid systemic effects. The risk of malignancy is something to be aware of but should not deter the use of effective treatment options.