Background Cutaneous infiltration by cancer has been reported to occur in 0.7% to 9% of all patients with malignant neoplasms and is usually considered a late event in the evolution of most visceral carcinomas. Objective To analyze the clinicopathological features of cutaneous infiltration by cancer. Methods All biopsy specimens codified as cutaneous infiltration by cancer between 1988 and 2005 were retrieved. Patients with hematologic malignancies were excluded. The clinical charts of the patients were reviewed to obtain additional information. Results In all, 381 patients (136 male and 245 female) were included in the study. The most frequent primary tumors were breast carcinoma (168 cases), malignant melanoma (59 cases), mucosal carcinoma of the head and neck (34 cases), lung carcinoma (25 cases), and large intestine carcinoma (22 cases). The most frequent clinical presentations were solitary nodule in 153 cases, multiple nodules in 82 cases, and infiltration of surgical scars in 50 cases. In 128 patients (33.6%) the cutaneous infiltrative lesions were present at diagnosis of the primary tumor. The number of yearly specimens of infiltration by breast carcinoma increased significantly from the first half to the second half of the period under examination. Limitations This is an observational retrospective study. Conclusions With the possibility of determining prognostic factors by analyzing tissue samples from malignant tumors, the role of cutaneous biopsy is expected to become increasingly important in the management of oncology patients, as is already the case with breast carcinoma.