Organ transplant recipients (OTR) are at high risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). We aimed to define clinically meaningful patient-reported warning signals predicting the presence of invasive SCC. Patient-reported signs and symptoms of 812 consecutively biopsied skin lesions from 410 OTR were determined by questionnaire and physical examination and related to the subsequent biopsy-proven diagnoses. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used as a measure of distinction between the predictive values of patient-reported warning signals and the occurrence of SCC. Pain was an independent predictive patient-reported warning signal for a biopsy-proven invasive SCC. The odds ratio from the fully adjusted model predicting SCC was 4.4 (95% confidence interval: 2.4-8.2). Higher scores on the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain were associated with a greater likelihood for the presence of SCC compared to none or mild pain. The for scores on the VAS from 1 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 10 were 4.9 (2.2-10.5), 2.3 (0.96-5.5) and 16.5 (3.6-75.8), respectively. Pain is the most powerful patient-reported warning signal for invasive cutaneous SCC in OTR. Empowerment of patients by education could accelerate diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous SCC.
- Adverse effect
- squamous cell carcinoma