Appearance of cutaneous malignancies of the head and neck

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The spectrum of cutaneous malignancies of the head and neck ranges from tumors that are fairly well behaved, such as the majority of basal cell carcinomas, to very aggressive cancers with a high metastatic rate, such as Merkel cell carcinoma. Most forms of cutaneous malignancy have characteristic clinical presentations, which assist in their clinical diagnosis. The goal of this article is to review the appearances and clinical presentations of common nonmelanoma skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinomas), uncommon nonmelanoma skin cancers (Merkel cell carcinoma and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans), and the various subtypes of cutaneous melanoma.

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