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Cutaneous metastases occurred in 0.1% of all patients with cancer. The most common primary tumor was carcinoma of the breast (47.8%). They were recognized after the primary tumor in 56.5%. They were the first sign of cancer in 30.5%, especially in carcinoma of the lung. However, they were not uncommon as an early indicator of metastatic disease. They tended to appear in areas overlying the primary carcinoma. Only carcinoma of lung and cervix may disseminate to distant cutaneous sites. The prognosis depended on the type of primary carcinoma. Carcinoma of the breast with cutaneous metastases had a prolonged survival. Survival of patients with carcinoma of the lung averaged 2 months after the appearance of cutaneous metastases.
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