9 doctors weighed in:

How is skin cancer spread through the body?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronald Shelton
Dermatology
4 doctors agree

In brief: Skin cancer spread

Skin cancer can spread via local extension.
A basal cell carcinoma given enough time, can spread around nerve endings and other structures deep into vital territory and cause loss of the eye and even spread to the brain in very rare cases. Other tumors such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma can invade lymphatic vessels and blood vessels and spread to other organs.

In brief: Skin cancer spread

Skin cancer can spread via local extension.
A basal cell carcinoma given enough time, can spread around nerve endings and other structures deep into vital territory and cause loss of the eye and even spread to the brain in very rare cases. Other tumors such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma can invade lymphatic vessels and blood vessels and spread to other organs.
Dr. Ronald Shelton
Dr. Ronald Shelton
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Dr. M. Christine Lee
Dermatology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Nerves, blood, lymph

Certain skin cancers such as basal cell tend to be locally destructive and can spread thru the nerves but rarely metastasize (ie: spread thru blood stream or lymphatics to other parts of the body).
Squamous cell and melanoma on the other hand are more deadly because they can metastasize. Early detection is key. Mohs surgery is the gold standard for basal cell and squamous cell.

In brief: Nerves, blood, lymph

Certain skin cancers such as basal cell tend to be locally destructive and can spread thru the nerves but rarely metastasize (ie: spread thru blood stream or lymphatics to other parts of the body).
Squamous cell and melanoma on the other hand are more deadly because they can metastasize. Early detection is key. Mohs surgery is the gold standard for basal cell and squamous cell.
Dr. M. Christine Lee
Dr. M. Christine Lee
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Dr. Morris Westfried
Dermatology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Local, blood vessel

Only very rare vary aggressive basal cell carcinomas spread by blood vessel or invade deeply.
There is a rare variant now identifiable by a genetic test which can be treated. With medicine. Areas where basal cell carcinoma can be aggressive is the inner eye near the nose amd inside the ear. These lesions need to be treated with mohs surgery initially.

In brief: Local, blood vessel

Only very rare vary aggressive basal cell carcinomas spread by blood vessel or invade deeply.
There is a rare variant now identifiable by a genetic test which can be treated. With medicine. Areas where basal cell carcinoma can be aggressive is the inner eye near the nose amd inside the ear. These lesions need to be treated with mohs surgery initially.
Dr. Morris Westfried
Dr. Morris Westfried
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Dr. Travis Kidner
Surgery - Oncology

In brief: Through lymphatics

Melanoma travels through your lymphatic system.

In brief: Through lymphatics

Melanoma travels through your lymphatic system.
Dr. Travis Kidner
Dr. Travis Kidner
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Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Blood and lymph

Skin cancers (like most cancers) can spread one of 3 main ways.
1. Direct spread/growth. 2. Travel through the lymphatic drainage systems (where they go to lymph nodes) and 3. Via the blood (where cancers can jump from skin to lung, brain, liver, etc).

In brief: Blood and lymph

Skin cancers (like most cancers) can spread one of 3 main ways.
1. Direct spread/growth. 2. Travel through the lymphatic drainage systems (where they go to lymph nodes) and 3. Via the blood (where cancers can jump from skin to lung, brain, liver, etc).
Dr. Mike Bowman
Dr. Mike Bowman
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