Woman’s itchy, ‘velvety’ palms turn out to be cancer symptom

Velvety, painful lesions that covered the palms of a 73-year-old woman’s hand turned out to be an unexpected cancer symptom.

The unnamed woman from Sao Paulo, Brazil had gone a dermatologist to ask about her skin condition.

Her story, which is now a recent case study in the New England Journal of Medicine, notes this rippled appearance, known as “tripe palms,” is associated with cancer, particularly lung cancer.

It’s a rare medical condition named “tripe” due to the similarities between the ripples in the hands and the stomach lining of cows or sheep.

Prior to visiting the doctor, the woman had lived with a cough for about a year following a 30-year history of smoking, authors noted. She’d also lost 11 pounds over a four-month period.

But it was the strange marks on her hands that convinced the woman to see a doctor.

“Physical examination revealed sharp demarcation of the folds in the lines of her hands in addition to a velvety appearance of the palmar surfaces and ridging of the skin,” doctors noted in the report. “This condition is associated with cancer, particularly lung and gastric cancer.”

What are tripe palms?

The cause of changes in the skin is unknown, but one study by doctors at Columbia University in New York in the late 1980s found more than 90 per cent of published cases of “tripe palms” resulted in a cancer diagnosis.

The Brazilian woman completed a CT scan, which found abnormalities in her lungs. A biopsy officially confirmed she had a type of lung cancer called adenocarcinoma.

Her doctors reported that chemotherapy didn’t help reduce the lesions on her palms, although they noted that sometimes this can resolve the issue.

“The lesions in this patient did not regress with chemotherapy or with the application of 10 per cent urea-containing ointment,” doctors wrote.

Six months after her diagnosis, she had to begin a second round of chemotherapy. It’s unknown if the treatment has worked for the woman.

Could other rashes mean cancer?

Experts say that while it’s incredibly rare, other odd rashes could signal a cancer diagnosis.

For instance, a spot or a sore that looks new or unusual, is itchy or bleeds and doesn’t heal within a few weeks should be checked out, according to Cancer Research UK.

Source: Read Full Article