Brandon Calley, BS; Philip Berce, MD, PharmD; Catherine K. Chang, BS; Sophia Neman, BA; Ana Maria Viteri, BS; Alexander Means, MD; Olushola L. Akinshemoyin Vaughn, MD
Published early online August 21, 2023.
Background: Primary care physicians are often the first to identify signs and symptoms concerning for cancer. An important aspect of cancer screening is thorough skin examinations and subsequent referral to a dermatologist for atypical cutaneous presentations, which may be associated with an underlying visceral malignancy. Diagnostic considerations for pruritus without dermatitis (“itch without rash”) in adults include senile pruritus, medication reaction, and paraneoplastic syndrome. Recognition of cutaneous manifestations of cancer should prompt cancer screening by primary care providers.
Objective: To update practicing physicians on current cancer screening guidelines with a specific focus on cutaneous clues to prompt further workup.
Methods: American Cancer Society and United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines were systematically reviewed using PubMed and organizational websites during August and September, 2021, with review of Task Force Guidelines during October, 2022.
Results: Colorectal, cervical, breast, lung, skin, prostate, ovarian, hematologic, pancreatic, thyroid, testicular, bladder, oral, and gastric cancer screening guidelines are summarized.
Conclusions: Primary care physicians can recognize atypical cutaneous conditions and facilitate referral to a dermatologist for evaluation and/or directly order tests themselves to initiate appropriate cancer screening.