Reducing Skin Malignancy Risk in Organ Transplant Recipients

Shayla Francis, MD; Daniel Berg, MD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2013;18(1) 

In This Article


Skin cancer in organ transplant recipients is a serious problem that manifests as increased squamous cell carcinoma in longterm patients. In these patients, a combination of cumulative sun exposure as well as the immunosuppressive effects of transplant medications can cause cutaneous malignancy. Skin cancer can affect transplant patients in multiple ways. It can decrease quality of life by causing various separate skin cancers that require frequent and sometimes painful treatment, as well as possibly result in disfigurement. The more aggressive tumors pose a risk of metastasis and death. Clinical efforts aimed at reduction in skin cancers in this high-risk population include increased education and surveillance, aggressive treatment of skin cancers and pre-cancers, changes to immunosuppressive regimens, and retinoid chemoprevention.