Malignancy in chronic leg ulcers

D. Yang, B.D. Morrison, Y.K. Vandongen, A. Singh, Michael Stacey

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Objective: To evaluate the frequency of malignant ulcers in patients presenting with leg ulcers.Design: A descriptive study from data collected between July 1988 and June 1995 from 981 patients (2448 ulcers) attending a leg ulcer clinic.Setting: A specialised leg ulcer clinic at a tertiary leaching hospital.Subjects: 43 patients with 55 malignant skin lesions.Outcome measures: Tissue biopsies in ulcerated lesions that suggested malignancy or were not responding to appropriate treatment.Results: Forty-three patients were found to have malignant lesions on the legs, giving a frequency of malignant ulcers of 4.4 per 100 leg ulcer patients, or 2.2 per 100 leg ulcers, Seventy-five per cent of the malignant ulcers were basal cell carcinoma and 25% were squamous cell carcinoma.Conclusions: Malignant skin changes are common in chronic leg ulcers. A biopsy should be taken from all suspicious ulcers or ulcers that do not respond to appropriate treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-720
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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    Yang, D., Morrison, B. D., Vandongen, Y. K., Singh, A., & Stacey, M. (1996). Malignancy in chronic leg ulcers. Medical Journal of Australia, 164, 718-720.