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Doctor insights on: Cancerous Actinic Keratosis Turn Cancer

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How long does it typically take a cancerous actinic keratosis to turn into cancer?

How long does it typically take a cancerous actinic keratosis to turn into cancer?

Months to years: Actinic keratosis is precancerous. The full transformation into skin cancer is a result of multiple number of relevant mutations that "tips" it over to become cancerous. Thus, if an actinic keratosis happens to have most of the mutations except one additional before it turns into skin cancer, it may only take a month of additional uv exposure before that happens. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,214 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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How long does it take for actinic keratosis to turn into cancer?

Variable: Actinic keratosis is considered a pre-cancerous condition, however, not all lesions become cancerous. There is controversy about terminology and some people consider actinic keratosis to be cancer. Treatment of the skin lesion can forstall the development of cancer. ...Read more

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What % of actinic keratosis are pre-cancerous? How long would it take one to turn into cancer?

What % of actinic keratosis are pre-cancerous? How long would it take one to turn into cancer?

All and variable: Actinic keratosis by definition is precancerous, however not all lesions turn into cancer and there is variable rate of progression. Treatment of the lesion can prevent progression and development of cancer. Please note that some people consider actinic keratosis to be a form of cancer. ...Read more

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I heard actinic keratosis is pre-cancerous. How long would it take one to turn into ca?

I heard actinic keratosis is pre-cancerous. How long would it take one to turn into ca?

Varies: This is like asking how long it takes a child to turn into an adult, in some ways. It takes much longer for a 2 year old to turn into an adult than a teenager. We think it takes a number of years to convert, but I have seen patients treated for an actinic keratosis return with a squamous cancer in that area in less than a year. Was it really an actinic keratosis or was it an early squamous cell? ...Read more

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Is seborrheic keratosis a malignant skin cancer tumor?

Is seborrheic keratosis a malignant skin cancer tumor?

No: Sk's are nonmalignant tumors, nor are they premalignant. They often grow on sun damaged skin, so they often show up in the same areas which are at risk for skin cancers. Sk's require no treatment. See a md for eval & diagnosis. ...Read more

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Is a seborrheic keratosis is a malignant skin cancer tumor or benign?

Is a seborrheic keratosis is a malignant skin cancer tumor or benign?

Benign: Sk's are easily confused for skin cancers due to their large size, irregular shape, and being multicolored. A trained dermatologist can easily spot the difference but very confusing for patients and other doctors. People can have hundreds or even thousands of sk's on their body and they are all benign. But having these cover the body may make it difficult to monitor for skin cancers. ...Read more

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What is a solar lentigines? New, flat, VERY light tan spot on cheek bone. At skin cancer screening, Dr said not keratosis. Said keep an eye on it.

What is a  solar lentigines? New, flat, VERY light tan spot on cheek bone.  At skin cancer screening, Dr said not keratosis.  Said keep an eye on it.

Sun Damage: Lentigines are due to localised proliferation of melanocytes. The most common type, solar lentigines, arise in middle age and also result from sun damage (age spots). They are most often found on the face and hands, and are larger and more defined than freckles. Lentigines tend to persist for long periods and don't disappear in the winter (though they may fade). ...Read more

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What are symptoms of actinic keratosis?

What are symptoms of actinic keratosis?

Actinic Keraotsis: Actinic keratoses arise in chronically sun exposed sites, such as the backs of the hands, forearms and face. They usually present as rough scaly or crusty slightly red bumps on the skin. Sometimes, these lesions can be felt more than they can be seen. A rough patch on a sun exposed area may all that you notice. ...Read more

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Who is at generally risk for actinic keratosis?

Who is at generally risk for actinic keratosis?

H/o sunburns: Actinic keratoses are precancerous lesions caused by excessive sun exposure. The more sunburns you've had, the more risk of developing ak's. ...Read more

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Dr. Mike Bowman
905 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common are: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use & ...Read more


Dr. Emily Altman
37 doctors shared insights

Solar Keratosis (Definition)

Thickened and perhaps slightly pigmented skin with ultraviolet damage in high sun exposure skin. Usually ...Read more