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September 1961

Alopecia Neoplastica Due to Breast Carcinoma

Author Affiliations


From the Kupat Holim Histadruti, Departments of Dermatology (I.C.), and X-Ray Therapy and Tumour Institute (H.S.), Haifa, and the Institute of Bacteriology and Pathology (E.L.), Afula.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(3):490-492. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580150136023

It is well known that a comparatively high percentage of breast carcinomata metastasize to the skin, and that the breast is the commonest source of metastases to the skin, including the scalp (Warren and Witham, 1933; Gates, 1937; Geschickter, 1945; Boyd et al., 1954; Allen, 1954; Willis, 1953). In the scalp the lesions, which are presumably blood-borne, usually take the form of nodules resembling turban tumors (Ronchese, 1940), but the occurrence of alopecia appears to be very rare, only one reference to this possibility having been found in the literature (Ronchese, 1949). Three patients suffering from breast carcinoma in whom metastases to the scalp caused alopecia, resembling alopecia areata, were seen within a period of a few months, and in view of the apparent rarity of this condition and the importance of the differential diagnosis it is considered of interest to place the findings on record.

Report of Cases