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Squamous Cell Carcinoma Arising in Chronic Ulcers in Leprosy


Kowit Kampirapap, MD*,
Tara Poonpracha, MD**

* Raj-Pracha Samasai Institute, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health,
** Army Institute of Pathology, Phramongkutklao Medical College


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arising in chronic ulcers of leprosy patients is uncommon. A retrospective analytical study of 416 biopsy specimens of chronic ulcers during 1976-2000 occuring on the extremity of leprosy patients was performed. Pathologic examination showed that 217 specimens (52.2%) were reported as pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia (PH). A total of 102 (24.5%) specimens reported as SCC, involving 100 individual patients (69 males, 31 females). SCC was localized on the lower extremity in 87 specimens (85.3%). No significant difference was observed between left and right foot using Chi-square test. The sole was the commonest site of involvement, and then the heel. SCC on the upper extremity which was much less common, presented in 15 specimens (14.7%). The tumor was localized on the palm in 10 specimens (right: 9, left: 1).
SCC in chronic ulcers of leprosy patients were much more common on the lower extremity than on the upper extremity. Most of the tumors on the upper extremity were localized on the right palm. This emphasizes the need for an active policy of prevention of disability in leprosy control programs.

Keyword : Squamous cell carcinoma, Chronic ulcers, Leprosy

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