Since the advent of cytogenetic analysis, knowledge about fundamental aspects of cancer biology has increased, allowing the processes of cancer development and progression to be more fully understood and appreciated. Classical cytogenetic analysis of solid tumors had been considered difficult, but new advances in culturing techniques and the addition of new cytogenetic technologies have enabled a more comprehensive analysis of chromosomal aberrations associated with solid tumors. Our purpose in this review is to discuss the cytogenetic findings on a number of nonmelanoma skin cancers, including squamous- and basal cell carcinomas, keratoacanthoma, squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen's disease), and solar keratosis. Through classical cytogenetic techniques, as well as fluorescence-based techniques such as fluorescence in situ hybridization and comparative genomic hybridization, numerous chromosomal alterations have been identified. These aberrations may aid in further defining the stages and classifications of nonmelanoma skin cancer and also may implicate chromosomal regions involved in progression and metastatic potential. This information, along with the development of newer technologies (including laser capture microdissection and comparative genomic hybridization arrays) that allow for more refined analysis, will continue to increase our knowledge about the role of chromosomal events at all stages of cancer development and progression and, more specifically, about how they are associated with nonmelanoma skin cancer.