Field cancerization is a commonly encountered but poorly defined entity in dermatology. Lack of a consensus definition makes characterizing and studying this condition difficult.
Propose a framework for defining and managing field cancerization patients.
Clinical experience and available data in the literature was used to develop a proposed field cancerization disease classification system and chemoprevention algorithm.
The author group developed a field cancerization classification and treatment algorithm that stratifies patients into 5 different classes based on the extent of their field cancerization. They have started to recruit and study the highest risk cohort (Category 4 or 5) and have recruited 57 patients with 5 or more lifetime keratinocyte carcinomas for a prospective study evaluating chemoprevention strategies and disease burden. In these cohorts, the average number of skin cancers was greater than 12; however, less than 39% of these patients had used any chemoprevention in the prior 6 months.
A meaningful and clinically relevant disease stratification framework with chemoprevention guidance has the potential to highly impact the specialty and patients.