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Dermatology Online Journal

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Axillary basal cell carcinoma in patients with Goltz-Gorlin syndrome: report of basal cell carcinoma in both axilla of a woman with basal cell nevus syndrome and literature review


Background: Basal cell carcinoma of the axilla, an area that is not usually exposed to the sun, is rare. Individuals with basal cell nevus syndrome, a disorder associated with a mutation in the patch 1 (PTCH1) gene, develop numerous basal cell carcinomas.Purpose: To describe a woman with basal cell nevus syndrome who developed a pigmented basal cell carcinoma in each of her axilla and to review the features of axillary basal cell carcinoma patients with Goltz-Gorlin syndrome.Methods: Pubmed was used to search the following terms: axillary basal cell carcinoma and basal cell nevus syndrome. The papers and their citations were evaluated.Results: Basal cell nevus syndrome patients with basal cell carcinoma of the axilla were observed in two women; this represents 2.5% (2 of 79) of the patients with axillary basal cell carcinoma. Both women had pigmented tumors that were histologically nonaggressive. The cancers did not recur after curettage or excision.Conclusions: Basal cell carcinoma of the axilla has only been described in 79 individuals; two of the patients were women with pigmented tumors who had basal cell nevus syndrome. Similar to other patients with axillary basal cell carcinoma, the tumors were histologically nonaggressive and did not recur following treatment. Whether PTCH1 gene mutation predisposes basal cell nevus patients to develop axillary basal cell carcinomas remains to be determined.

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