The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-226) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
RD treated the patient and drafted the manuscript. EZ treated the patient and drafted the manuscript. AG treated the patient and drafted the manuscript. BG carried out the immunoassays and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Pyoderma gangrenosum is a rare clinical entity of poorly understood pathogenesis, characterized by rapidly progressing skin necrosis. In around half of patients pyoderma gangrenosum is a manifestation of underlying systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or myeloproliferative disorders. There have been very few reports on the association of pyoderma gangrenosum with solid malignancies.
We report a case of a 68-year-old Caucasian woman in whom pyoderma gangrenosum first appeared around 30 years earlier, at the time of exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis, and recurred as a manifestation of locally advanced breast cancer. The causative role of the neoplastic process was partly confirmed by the healing of the skin ulceration only following effective endocrine cancer therapy, whereas earlier attempts with standard anti-inflammatory therapy were unsuccessful.
Pyoderma gangrenosum has a recurrent nature and may be reactivated by various causes within several years. Therefore, a prompt and thorough diagnosis accompanied by treatment of the underlying disease is necessary.
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