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Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Nail Bed

Peter I. Long, MD; Jose L. Espiniella, MD
JAMA. 1978;239(20):2154-2155. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280470066026.
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PRIMARY carcinoma originating in the nail bed is a rare disease, with only 53 biopsy-proved cases to date. Thirtyseven cases have been classified as squamous cell carcinoma,1 ten as Bowen's carcinoma in situ,2,3 and six as basal cell carcinoma.4 Nineteen of the cases have been reported in the last ten years (35% of the total).

We present the 38th reported case of primary squamous cell carcinoma. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of carcinoma existing in chronic inflammatory nail lesions.

Report of a Case  An 86-year-old man was admitted to the Veterans Administration Hospital, Dayton, Ohio, on Feb 7, 1977. He complained of pain under the right thumbnail and of loss of a portion of the nail for two years. The onset of symptoms was gradual, and he was certain that he had not injured his thumb. The patient felt that there was "something" under the nail.


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