Cutaneous metastasis from colorectal cancer: Making light on an unusual and misdiagnosed event

Paola Parente, Davide Ciardiello, Luca Reggiani Bonetti, Vincenzo Famiglietti, Gerardo Cazzato, Stefania Caramaschi, Vito Attino, Diego Urbano, Giuseppe Di Maggio, Giuseppe Ingravallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cutaneous metastasis from solid tumors is a rare event and usually represents a late occurrence in the natural history of an advanced visceral malignancy. Rarely, cutaneous metastasis has been described in colorectal cancer patients. The most frequent cutaneous site of colorectal metastasis is the surgical scar in the abdomen following the removal of the primary malignancy, followed by the extremities, perineum, head, neck, and penis. Metastases to the thigh and back of the trunk are anecdotical. Dermatological diagnosis of cutaneous metastasis can be quite complex, especially in unusual sites, such as in the facial skin or thorax and in cases of single cutaneous lesions since metastasis from colorectal cancer is not usually the first clinical hypothesis, leading to misdiagnosis. To date, due to the rarity of cutaneous metastasis from colorectal cancer, little evidence, most of which is based on case reports and very small case series, is currently available. Therefore, a better understanding of the clinic-pathological characteristics of this unusual metastatic site represents an unmet clinical need. We present a large series of 29 cutaneous metastases from colorectal cancer with particular concerns regarding anatomic localization and the time of onset with respect to primitive colorectal cancer and visceral metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number954
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cutaneous metastasis
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Skin tumors
  • Visceral metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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