A woman who developed swirly patches all over her body discovered the bizarre rash was actually a rare sign of anal cancer.
The 74-year-old woman had lived with the patches for a year before she went to see a doctor.
At first, the pensioner was given anti-histamines but the medicines didn’t relieve any symptoms. She started to experience diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting, and the patches became sorer.
Her condition led doctors to start further investigations and they found out that it was a rare symptom of anal cancer.
The woman is now in remission after undergoing treatment, her doctors shared.
Doctors at the University of Kansas Medical Centre posted the story in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While the rash is a symptom of cancer, it is rare, a dermatologist said to MailOnline.
Dr. Adil Sheraz said: “Erythema gyratum repens (the rash) is a rare condition and in up 80 per cent of cases is associated with an internal malignancy such as lung cancer or oesophageal cancer.
“Internal malignancies and cancers can present as rashes on the skin. The rash itself is a sign of an internal issue and in some cases can be the first indication of cancers.
“This is not a common sight in dermatology clinics, however when it presents it is often quite striking and diagnostic.”
He also said that patches like these are most often associated with blood cancers.
The 74-year-old woman had had the red swirly patches on her stomach, armpits, buttocks and thighs for almost a year.
Dr. Prouty, one of the dermatologists involved with treating her, said the woman had been initially treated with antihistamines. However, the patches developed into scaly plaques.
Many anal cancers are discovered early as they are in an area that doctors can be easily examined. Dr. Prouty said: “The patient was referred to the dermatology clinic for assessment of the persistent, evolving rash.
“She received a clinical diagnosis of erythema gyrateum repens, a rare rash usually associated with breast cancer, lung or oesophageal cancer.”
It isn’t clear how long the woman needed treatment for but doctors said she was in remission after 8 months.
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