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Can Cancer Cause Skin Rash

What Symptoms Of Breast Rash Are Cause For Concern

Skin can show early signs of breast cancer

Whenever breast rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as infection, fever, a lump underneath the skin, swelling of the throat, or failure to get better after a reasonable period of treatment, a doctor should be consulted. It can be difficult to self-diagnose the cause of a breast rash, and in some cases a delay in treatment can be the difference between a successful outcome and a more serious health condition.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/19/2018.


How Does A Skin Rash Relate To Pancreatic Cancer

Many people who suffer from pancreatic cancer will present with signs of jaundice.; Jaundice causes a discolouration or yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, which is in essence a skin rash.; This is very common in those who suffer from pancreatic cancer.; Other more uncommon rashes include:

  • Rashes due to obstruction
  • Rashes due to vaccines or other biological therapies
  • Rashes due to radiotherapy

Stanford Cutaneous Lymphoma Program

The Stanford multispecialty Cutaneous Lymphoma team offers expert treatment for patients with cutaneous lymphomas, including mycosis fungoides, Sezary syndrome, CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders , subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma, gamma-delta T-cell lymphoma, CD8+ aggressive epidermotropic T-cell lymphoma, NK/T-cell lymphoma, other unspecified cutaneous peripheral T-cell lymphomas, and cutaneous B-cell lymphomas. Our physicians subspecialize in treating these types of cancers, and have extensive expertise in handling the most complicated cases. Care among specialists is tightly integrated.

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Purplish Rash With Swelling Blackening: Rotting Flesh

An immediate medical concern, necrotising fasciitis is a rare but serious bacterial infection that causes the skin to rot.

Necrotising fasciitis can start from a relatively minor injury, such as a small cut, which allows bacteria to get into the skin.

Symptoms usually come on suddenly and fast.;

The affected area swells and may show a purplish rash.

This leads to large dark marks forming that turn into pus-filled blisters. The wounds blacken as the tissue dies.

Just four or five days after the infection starts, a person can become seriously ill with dangerously low blood pressure and high temperature.;

Even with treatment, it’s estimated that up to two in every five cases of necrotising fasciitis end in death.

Rashes Linked To Other Cancers

What cancer can cause itchy skin

A rash may also be a sign of cancers that develop away from the skin, such as different forms of lymphoma.

Lymphoma is dangerous, as cancer cells circulate throughout the body. These cells may then grow in many organs or tissues at once.

In the sections below, we list some other types of cancer that may cause skin symptoms:

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Who Gets Skin Lymphoma

Skin lymphomas are rare. In the UK, around seven people in every million develop a skin lymphoma each year. Most of these are T-cell skin lymphomas.

In general, skin lymphomas are slightly more common in men than women. They are usually diagnosed in older people, most often those aged between 50 and 74. Only about 1 in 5 skin lymphomas affect people under 50. Very rarely, some types of skin lymphoma can develop in children.

Doctors dont know exactly what causesskin lymphoma. Research has shown that:

  • it isnt caused by anything youve done
  • it isnt passed down in families
  • you cant catch it or pass it on.

Liver Bile Duct Pancreatic And Gallbladder Cancers

Any cancer that interferes with the bile ducts can lead to obstruction and the consequent build-up of bile salts in the skin. With pancreatic cancer specifically, this is most common with cancers located in the head of the pancreas. Other symptoms may include jaundice, abdominal pain, ascites , and abdominal pain.

Also Check: Does Skin Cancer Itch And Burn

Targeted Drugs And Hormone Therapy

Some types of targeted cancer drugs;and hormone therapy cause skin rashes.;

Targeted cancer drugs called EGFR inhibitors are most likely to cause skin reactions such as a rash and itching. These include;erlotinib;and;cetuximab.

If you have a severe rash, you may need treatment with steroid creams or tablets, or antibiotic creams or tablets.

Further Information About Skin Rash Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Skin Rash Leads to Shocking Diagnosis

If you present with skin rash pancreatic cancer symptoms due to jaundice, your medical professional will take appropriate action in relation to this.; Treatment may include surgically placing a stent to unblock your gall bladder.

If you are suffering from one of the more uncommon forms of skin rash pancreatic cancer symptoms, treatment may include:

  • Steroids if your rash is caused by vaccination
  • Lotions or creams

There is currently no treatment available for skin rash pancreatic cancer symptoms caused by obstructions.

If you are suffering from skin rash pancreatic cancer symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible to ensure the cause of the skin rash is determined and addressed.; If you are not yet due for your next medical check up but do find you have any form of skin rash, please still seek medical advice.; Jaundice is one of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer and although sometimes not leading to any serious consequences, it can mean that the pancreatic tumour has started to block your gall bladder and surgery may be needed in order for gall to once again pass through the tubes.; This is generally achieved by surgically placing a stent, but is, unfortunately, only a temporary measure.

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How Is Breast Rash Treated

Common skin rashes

Treatments for many common rashes include avoiding irritants on the skin. This can include soaps or cosmetics that produce an allergic reaction, particular types of clothing material, or friction from a bra or clothing. A medication or topical ointment may be prescribed. In most cases, the rash is cleared up or at least managed without any great risk to overall health.

Dermatitis or eczema of the nipple may occur in some breastfeeding women, as the nipples become irritated by the babys mouth, tight clothing or trapped moisture. Consulting with a doctor or lactation specialist is recommended in such cases, as treatments in women who are breastfeeding may not be the same as for women who are not breastfeeding.

Rashes that occur due to a viral infection such as chickenpox, shingles or measles should be treated at the source of the problem , and not as a skin disorder. This would include the use of an anti-viral medication, bed rest, pain relievers and keeping control over any fever.

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is diagnosed after a thorough examination and tissue biopsy . From the outset, it is classified as a Stage three cancer, meaning that it is well advanced and must be treated immediately. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, usually beginning with chemotherapy.


Breast abscess

Mammary duct ectasia

Pagets disease of the breast

Managing And Relieving Skin Problems

Rashes, dry skin, and nail and hair reactions are rarely severe. But they can cause major discomfort. Patients may even want to stop cancer treatment because of these reactions. It is important to talk with your health care team about what to expect. Also tell your doctor as soon as you start feeling or seeing any side effects. There are early and effective treatments for these reactions.

The following suggestions may help avoid reactions and help relieve them if they do happen:

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What To Do For A Breast Rash

If you notice a change in your breasts, try not to worry. Because the hormones in your body are constantly changing, so are your breasts. Many of these differences arenât cause for concern.

It can help to:

Avoid scratching. This will only make your rash worse.

Take a warm bath, or place a warm washcloth over your breast. This may help soothe your skin.

Look for a cause. Did you try a new perfume or laundry detergent? Stop using any recently added products and see if your rash improves.

Noncancerous Causes Of Skin Rash

Skin And Beauty Advice From The Dermatologist.: Beware Of ...

While some cancers can lead to a skin rash, rashes can also be caused by a variety of other much less dangerous sources.;

Most rashes are commonly harmless and unlikely to cause permanent damage. If you notice an unexplained rash suddenly appearing on your skin, visit a health care provider for advice and treatment.

Also Check: How Quickly Can Melanoma Appear

What Does Skin Lymphoma Look Like

Different types of skin lymphoma can look quite different from one another, particularly in the early stages.

This section includes photographs to illustrate the appearance of skin lymphomas. However, do not be alarmed if your skin has a similar appearance. There are many more likely and less serious skin conditions that may look similar, but can only be distinguished from skin lymphoma using specialised tests on the cells of the affected skin.

Neck & Exposed Chest Eczema

This rash appears on the neck and on the part of the chest that is exposed to sunlight. Usually, the rash is pink and itchy. It can appear at any time during or after the infection and typically lasts for an extended period of time. And according to Dr. Bataille, a patient doesn’t have to have a history of eczema for this type of rash to develop. In fact, most patients included in the survey had no history of skin conditions.

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Other Hodgkin Lymphoma Symptoms

In addition to itchiness triggered by the release of cytokines, individuals with Hodgkin lymphoma may experience the following symptoms:

  • Lymph node swelling, particularly in the neck, armpits, stomach or groin
  • A low-grade fever accompanied by chills
  • Severe night sweats
  • Physical, mental or emotional exhaustion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Other issues specific to the location of the lymphoma, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or a feeling of being full

A Patchy Red Rash That Can Turn Scaly: Lymphoma

Can Itchy Skin be a Sign of Cancer?

Mycosis fungoides is a common rash in patients diagnosed with lymphoma.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system – the network of tissues and organs in our body that work to rid us of toxins.

It can be particularly dangerous because the cancerous cells can travel through the body in the bloodstream.

The cancer cells can then grow in several places at once, affecting multiple parts of the body.

A person with lymphoma may develop mycosis fungoides, a rash that is caused when the blood travels to the upper layer of the skin.

In its early stages it may appear as a patchy red rash but as it progresses it tends to become scaly.

It may be itchy and look;similar to eczema.

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Tiny Red Spots Covering The Skin: Leukaemia

Leukaemia, a type of ;blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow, can spread throughout the body in the bloodstream.

A person with leukaemia may also develop tiny red spots on their skin known as;petechiae.

The rash is caused by broken blood vessels under the skin.

Children may also develop a rash called;acute myelogenous leukaemia, which causes dark spots to appear on the skin.

Purpuric Or Vasculitic Rashes

Purpura is a term used to describe the purplish discoloration of the skin caused by bleeding into the skin. So “purpuric” is the adjective used to describe this type of rash. “Vasculitic” has to do with blood vessels. These rashes show as multiple deep red or purplish spots and can cause bruise-like patches. According to the BAD, “these spots and patches are caused by damage in the superficial tiny blood vessels with bleeding into the skin.”

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What Are The Most Common Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland is a very important body organ. Through the production and secretion of the two thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine , it is responsible for multiple body functions.

Unfortunately, the thyroid gland is often affected by hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism the two most common thyroid problems.

As a result of the low production of the thyroid hormones, a condition known as hypothyroidism develops. It characterizes itself with symptoms such as cold intolerance, fatigue, weight gain, depression, constipation, muscle, and joint aches, etc.

On the other hand, as a result of too much thyroid hormones being produced, a condition known as hyperthyroidism develops. Some of the most characteristic hyperthyroidism symptoms include an enlarged thyroid gland, hyperactivity, diarrhea, mood changes, sensitivity to heat, etc.;

What Is Immunotherapy

Urticaria skin rash of the back of a patient

Immunotherapy is also called biologic therapy. It is a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function.

Many side effects are similar to those of an allergic reaction. They depend on the specific drug a person receives but may include skin, hair, nail, or eye problems.

Common skin-related side effects of immunotherapy

Below is a list of common immunotherapy drugs that can cause skin related problems.

  • Alemtuzumab . This medicine is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Side effects include mouth sores.

  • Ipilimumab . This is used for melanoma. Skin related side effects include:

    • Bumpy red rash

    • Itchy red rash

    • Flushing, or skin redness

  • Rituximab . This drug is used for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Skin-related side effects include redness, tenderness, swelling, or warmth of part of the skin.

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When To See A Doctor

Signs that you should call your doctor right away include:

  • Fever

National Cancer Institute: âInflammatory Breast Cancer.â

UpToDate: âPatient education: Common Breast Problems â

Mayo Clinic: âBreast Rash: Causes,â âBreast Rash: When to see a doctor,â âMastitis: Causes,â âMastitis: Definition,â âMastitis: Symptoms,â âMastitis: Tests and diagnosis,â âMastitis: Treatment and drugs.â

National Breast Cancer Foundation: âInflammatory Breast Cancer .â

Cancer Research UK: âCan itching be a sign of breast cancer?â âPagetâs disease of the breast.â

Breast Cancer Care: âBenign Breast Conditions,â âIntertrigo .â

The Royal Womenâs Hospital: âNipple Eczema Dermatitis.â

Johns Hopkins Medicine: âInflammatory Breast Cancer .â

Merck Manual : âBreast Infection.â âDiagnosis and Staging of Inflammatory Breast Cancer.â

Journal of Midwifery & Womenâs Health: âDiagnosis and Management of Candida of the Nipple and Breast.â

American Academy of Dermatology: âHives,â âScabies,â âShingles: Overview.â

CDC: âPsoriasis.â

Who Diagnoses Skin Lymphoma

Diagnosing skin lymphoma is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle. A team of people from different hospital departments are involved in identifying the pieces and putting them together. This may include a dermatologist or haematologist and other healthcare professionals, who work as part of a multidisciplinary team . You might only meet a few of these people but they are all involved behind-the-scenes in diagnosing your condition and recommending the best treatment for you.

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WARNING: Please DO NOT STOP MEDICATIONS without first consulting a physician since doing so could be hazardous to your health.

DISCLAIMER: All material available on is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. All information is observation-only. Our phase IV clinical studies alone cannot establish cause-effect relationship. Different individuals may respond to medication in different ways. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. The use of the eHealthMe site and its content is at your own risk.

If you use this eHealthMe study on publication, please acknowledge it with a citation: study title, URL, accessed date.

Different Skin Rashes As Symptoms Of Thyroid Problems

Is Itchy Skin a Sign of Skin Cancer? | Skin Cancer

Since thyroid hormones take part in regulating so many different body functions, it is expected that various different symptoms develop if the normal thyroid levels are off.

It should not come as a surprise to find out that thyroid problems affect our skin as well.

In fact, there are several different skin rashes that develop as a symptom of the most common thyroid problems.

Based on the skin rash, a dermatologist can help in diagnosing the underlying cause.

In the following article, we will cover the most common skin rashes that develop as a symptom of thyroid problems.

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When To See A Doctor About An Alcohol Skin Rash

Suffering from a rash from drinking alcohol is a cause for concern and is not something you should ignore. Likewise, if you repeatedly experience rashes that come and go with consuming alcohol, this is also something to get checked out medically.

Suffering from an alcohol use disorder, accompanied by a worsening skin condition, could well indicate that your liver isnt coping. If this describes you or someone you love, we urge you to seek help for your drinking and see your doctor.

If you have concerns regarding your drinking and need professional help to stop, call Detox Plus UK today for a free alcohol treatment assessment and expert advice.

Alcohol rashes can be mostly harmless. On the other hand, they can be a visual indicator of something more sinister going on. It is always recommended to speak to a medical professional.

Is It Ok To Use Cosmetics To Cover Up Rashes Caused By Anticancer Medications

It is perfectly fine to use cosmetics on rashes. But keep in mind that anything that comes in contact with the skin may cause irritation.

When you first begin applying cosmetics, I recommend trying only one product at a time. Some people find they have developed new allergies, even to products they used regularly in the past.

If you have an acne-like rash, do not to use acne medications as that may cause even more irritation.

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Rashes & Other Types Of Cancer

Less commonly, a rash may be caused by a type of cancer other than skin cancer, such as:

  • Leukemia A blood cancer that develops in the bone marrow, leukemia is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells, which impair the bodys ability to produce red blood cells and platelets. A low platelet count can lead to easy bruising and bleeding, and broken capillaries under the skin can cause tiny red spots to form on the skins surface that resemble a rash.
  • Mycosis fungoides A type of cutaneous T cell lymphoma, mycosis fungoides occurs when certain white blood cells undergo cancerous changes that cause them to attack the skin. The early signs include itchy, rash-like skin patches, which may form sores and tumors as the cancer progresses.
  • Sézary syndrome A leukemic variant of mycosis fungoides, Sézary syndrome causes an extensive, itchy red rash over at least 80% of the body.
  • Kaposi sarcoma A type of cancer that develops in the cells that line lymphatic and blood vessels, Kaposi sarcoma can cause deep red, purple, or brown lesions to form on the skins surface.


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