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February 1972

Palmar Keratoses and Visceral Cancer: A Spurious Relationship

Author Affiliations


From the Cancer Detection Center and the Division of Dermatology, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis. Dr. Bean is now with the Diagnostic Clinic, Houston, and Dr. Fusaro is now with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(2):222-224. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620050036006

In 1967 a prospective study was undertaken to assess the alleged relationship between palmar keratoses and the presence of identifiable visceral malignancies. The study group consisted of 648 essentially asymptomatic adults who underwent comprehensive examinations for cancer with special attention to the presence of palmar keratoses. Palmar keratoses were present in 24.4% of the 648, including 28.4% of men and 19.9% of women. Each of the 648 was followed for three years subsequent to examination at the Cancer Detection Center. Of the 158 in the group with keratoses, 1.9% developed identifiable visceral cancers during 3+ years of follow-up study; for 490 without keratoses, 1.8% developed cancers. The findings of this study demonstrate that asymptomatic persons with palmar keratoses are neither more nor less likely to harbor identifiable cancers than those who do not have these skin lesions.

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