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Video: Velvety Palms Helped Diagnose Lung Cancer
Velvety palms helped diagnose lung cancer
In Brazil, a woman who presents with itchy palms is diagnosed with lung cancer. The patient's velvety hands helped to suspect the correct diagnosis.
Photo: The New England Journal of Medicine /
In Brazil, a woman who presents with itchy palms is diagnosed with lung cancer. The patient's velvety hands helped to suspect the correct diagnosis. The clinical case was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The doctors said that a 73-year-old woman went to the local dermatological clinic with a complaint of itchy and painful lesions on both arms. Skin problems appeared nine months before going to the doctor. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the natural folds and grooves on her palms are very pronounced, and in general, the palms give the impression of "velvety".
Doctors call the described condition palmar-plantar keratoderma or papillary-pigmentary dystrophy of the skin. Such a velvety palm is almost always associated with certain types of cancer: in the lungs or stomach. In the described case, the picture was complemented by the fact that the woman smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. The palmar changes were accompanied by severe cough and weight loss.
Papillary-pigmentary dystrophy of the skin is a rare symptom even for cancer patients. Its reasons are still poorly understood. There is speculation that cancerous tumors can stimulate excessive division of skin cells in the palms.
The patient underwent computed tomography of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. The examination revealed a focus of cancer in the left lung and metastatic nodes in the mediastinum. As a treatment, she was prescribed a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Keratoderma may disappear after treatment, but in this case, neither cancer treatment nor topical application of ointments helped.