Subungual Squamous Cell Carcinoma Associated with Long Standing Onychomycosis: Aggressive Surgical Approach with a Favourable Outcome
Keywords:Subungual squamous cell carcinoma, nail neoplasms, HPV, viral wart, surgery, onychomycosis
BACKGROUND: Tumours of the nail bed are rare. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most frequent among them. Chronic infection, chemical or physical trauma/microtrauma, genetic disorders such as congenital ectodermal dysplasia, radiation, tar, arsenic or exposure to minerals, sun exposure, immunosuppression, and previous HPV infection have all been discussed as etiologic factors. The diagnosis is often delayed because of the variety of clinical manifestations, often resembling benign or common infectious processes. Rapidly growing ulcerative lesions should also be considered as potential malignancy. Furthermore, a lack of antifungal or antibacterial treatment response is the most indicative symptom, always requiring subungual biopsy. Early diagnosis is of great importance for therapeutic effectiveness.
CASE PRESENTATION: We present a case of subungual squamous cell carcinoma, associated with long-lasting onychomycosis in a 76-year-old female patient, treated with amputation of the distal phalanx and the distal part of the proximal phalanx.CONCLUSION: Although there are no available data in the literature to confirm or reject the contribution of the chronic nail infection to the malignant process, we emphasise the importance of this co-existence regarding the possible disguising of the malignant process. An early biopsy of a chronic persistent nail lesion may be preventive and beneficial regarding avoiding more aggressive treatments and achieving a favourable prognosis.
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