Published online Apr 8, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i4.717
Peer-review started: November 11, 2014
First decision: December 12, 2014
Revised: December 27, 2014
Accepted: January 15, 2015
Article in press: January 19, 2015
Published online: April 8, 2015
Liver transplantation (LT) is a widely-accepted, definitive therapy of irreversible liver diseases including hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease and metabolic liver disease. After transplantation, patients generally use a variety of immunosuppressive medications for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection of transplanted liver. Mortality after LT is mainly caused by recurrence of alcoholic hepatitis which is mostly seen in the patients who resume heavy drinking. On the other hand, de-novo malignancies after LT are not seldom. Skin cancers make up 13.5% of the de-novo malignancies seen in these patients. Malignancies tend to affect survival earlier in the course with a 53% risk of death at 5 years after diagnosis. We aimed to report a case who underwent LT secondary to alcoholic liver disease and developed squamous cell carcinoma of the skin eighteen years after transplantation. In summary, transplant recipients are recommended to be educated on self examination for skin cancer; health care providers should be further suspicious during routine dermatological examinations of the transplant patients and biopsies of possible lesions for skin cancer is warranted even many years after transplantation.
Core tip: We presented a case who underwent liver transplantation due to alcoholic liver disease and developed a skin cancer after 18 years of follow-up, which is exceptionally rare as malignancies tend to affect survival earlier in the course with a 53% risk of death at 5 years after diagnosis.