The association of basal cell carcinoma, cysts of the jaw, and abnormalities of the thoracic cage was first appreciated by Howell and Caro, in 1959,1 although a syndrome was not delineated until a year later.2 Since 1960, the combination has generally been called the "basal cell nevus syndrome." The most recent of many apposite communications appears in the April issue of the Archives of Pathology,3 in which the investigators criticize the term "basal cell nevus." Originally based on a clinical misapprehension, the term leads to confusion between tumors composed of basal cells and those composed of nevus cells. The main presenting sign of the syndrome is the appearance of multiple basal cell carcinomas which are nevoid only by virtue of their early appearance. Therefore, the terminology, "nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome," would seem preferable.
Mere association of common signs and symptoms —in this case basal cell carcinomas