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September 2003

Solar Keratosis Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(9):1216-1217. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.9.1216

I read with dismay the article titled "The Actinic (Solar) Keratosis: A 21st-Century Perspective," published last January in the ARCHIVES.1 Not only does it misrepresent my thinking about the subject, but it reflects a mentality more like that of the 19th century than the 21st. In it, Wendy Fu and Clay J. Cockerell cite an article by me2 as verification for their statement that "another name proposed is solar keratotic intraepidermal squamous-cell carcinoma." Never did I propose such a term; on the contrary, I have decried both the term itself and the concept that animates it in these words: "In conclusion, the terms apocrine carcinoma in situ, sebaceous carcinoma in situ, and melanoma in situ have legitimacy; the designation squamous-cell carcinoma in situ [intraepidermal squamous-cell carcinoma] does not."3