Brazilian woman’s velvet palms brings about an unsettling diagnosis

A woman from Brazil aged 73 received an unnerving diagnosis after her visit to the local clinic for dermatology after complaints of itchy and painful lesions that surfaced on her palms. The woman, whose name has been hidden from this case report, provided a detailed narrative of her issue to the doctor that had been treating her. These reports were detailed perfectly over the NEJM or New England Journal of Medicine.

As per the lady, she initially noticed these lesions around 9 months before she visited the dermatologist. She also mentioned that she had a continuous cough for more than a year & lost more than 11 pounds within a term of 4 months prior to seeking help from a doctor. The woman was also noted to be a regular smoker who burnt out one pack in a day within a term of 30 years in her lifetime.

Doctors handling the case wrote in their report published on 14th November that physical examination has revealed a sharp demarcation within the holds of the lines present in her hands. This was apart from that velvety appearance of the surfaces of the palm and skin ridging. These velvet-colored palms were actually a resultant symptom of acanthosis Palmaris, which is a particularly rare condition. It is commonly termed as the “Tripe Palms,” given the fact that the skin closely resembles tripe.

This condition can be closely associated with gastric or lung cancer. Tripe palms mostly occur prior to a patient being diagnosed with the presence of cancer. The root of this rare condition isn’t entirely clear, even though most researchers suggest that cancer can lead to an overproduction of the skin cells present in the palms.

The following CT scan revealed that this woman was actually suffering from lung cancer. Post diagnosis, the doctors immediately recommended the start of chemotherapy & radiation to help with the tripe palm lesions. However, these lesions present in the patient’s hand failed to regress even with the chemotherapy going on. Even with an ointment-based treatment, the doctors failed to help treat the lesions on the hand.

According to reports, 6 months after the detection of cancer, the disease had progressed rapidly. This is why the doctors instructed that she undergo another chemotherapy round. In more than 40 percent of patients, the tripe palms presented features of an undiagnosed malignancy inside the body.