Saturday, May 31, 2008

Know When to Cut, Know when to Punt

The patient is an 87 yo man with a mild dementia. He lives in an assisted care facility. Has an attentive and caring daughter. In October of 2007 he had a wide-local excision of s large SCC on the left forehead by a general surgeon. Path report showed "clear margins." When seen on May 30, 2008 a 4 x 3 cm recurrence was noted. The picture of the right TMJ area shows a scar from micrographic surgery from a similar lesion the patient had ~ 10 years ago. His daughter said it took 6 months to heal.

1. What contributes to the aggressive behavior of this small subset of SCCs?
2. Would you refer to Mohs, XRT, or just watch?
3. Are you comfortable playing God with patients like these?

Comment: There is a subset of SCCs that metastasize and kill patients. MA Weinstock and his collaborators have written on this subject.

Weinstock MA, et. al.
Nonmelanoma skin cancer mortality. A population-based study.
Arch Dermatol. 1991 Aug;127(8):1194-7.

Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Providence, RI 02908.

To estimate the magnitude of nonmelanoma skin cancer mortality
and describe itsparameters, we reviewed the medical records of
all deaths certified as due to this cause among Rhode Island
residents from 1979 through 1987. After excluding acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome-associated Kaposi's sarcoma, we
confirmed that nonmelanoma skin cancer was the cause of death
for 51 individuals, a quarter of the number of melanoma deaths
reported. The age-adjusted nonmelanoma skin cancer mortality rate
was 0.44/10(5) per year. Fifty-nine percent were due to squamous
cell carcinoma, and 20% were due to basal cell carcinoma. Most
appeared actinically induced. Among deaths from SCCs, the mean age
was 73 years. At least 80% of the squamous cell carcinomas metas-
tasized, and 47% arose on the ear. None appeared due to refusal of
treatment. Among deaths frombasal cell carcinoma, the mean age was
85 years, and refusal of surgical intervention was documented in
40%. Study of nonmelanoma skin cancer mortality provides for estimation
of the magnitude of this problem, complements otherstudies of
prognosis, and helps guide prevention, early detection, and treatment.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Two Foot and One Hand Disease

These are the hands of a 35 year-old plumber I saw recently. He was not aware of a dermatitis of his feet, but inspection showed mild moccasin-type T. pedis on both feet and subtle onychomycosis. KOH prep from the right hand was positive for septate hyaline hyphae. We all see two foot and one hand disease regularly. Do you have any theories as to why only one hand is involved? This is a peculiar dermatologic vignette.

Right Hand

Left Hand

Monday, May 19, 2008

Penile Pain

The patient is 40 yo heterosexual male in a monogamous relationship for the last 6 years. Neither he nor his partner has a history of having had sex with anyone else ever before.

Three months ago he had the onset of pain at the tip of his glans during coitus and experienced pain also on pulling at the tip of his foreskin. A month later he noticed a few grouped "vesicles" at the ventral tip of his glans. These lesions have persisted unchanged. The pain in these lesions persists since being first noticed.
Clinical Photo:

The wife is asymptomatic although she had symptoms suggestive of vaginitis 3-4 months back which improved on clotrimazole pessaries (this was almost the same time when the patient developed pain during coitus which has never subsided).

What is the diagnosis?
What would you do at this point?

Note: Two respondents have suggested "Pearly Penile Papules." This does not look like a typical case of PPP. For comparison a picture is below. PPP is usually around the corona and is rarely this symptomatic.

Monday, May 12, 2008

21 yo man with warty plaque on foot

Presented by Henry Foong, Ipoh, Malaysia

A 21 yr old student presented with 5-year history of warty growth on the
right foot. It started as a small lesion which gradually got bigger.

Pertinent findings on examination were raised hyperkeratotic plaque 5 x 3 cm
on the medial border of the dorsum of the right foot. It has a verrucous
surface with blackish dots. Regional nodes were not palpable.

Clinically he has chromoblastomycosis of the right foot.

A biopsy was done and the epithelium shows marked acanthosis with elongation
of rete ridges and intraepithelial collections of neutrophils. The dermis is
densely infiltrated by lymphocytes, plasma cells and few neutrophils.
Culture of organism was not done.

I may repeat the biopsy and perform fungal culture.

I plan to treat him with liquid nitrogen together with some combination
therapy with antifungals: itraconazole 100mg bd ( 200mg bd??) for several
months together with another antifungals. 5FU or IV amphotericin.

Would appreciate your comments on this patient.