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November 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Michigan.; Trainee of the National Cancer Institute, United States Public Health Service.

Arch Surg. 1941;43(5):803-810. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210170070006

Carcinoma of the upper extremity is not a common disease. Less than 10 per cent of all cutaneous lesions diagnosed as carcinoma occur at this site.1 Heilman found 207 cases of carcinoma in which an upper or a lower extremity was the site among 2,054 cases of cancer; Broders, 44 cases in 2,000; DeAsis, 132 in 6,766.2 In two thirds or more of the 207 cases the carcinoma occurred on an upper extremity. While prognosis is usually considered good, too frequently such a lesion is overlooked or undertreated.

The etiologic factors were well outlined by Adair,3 who expressed the belief that there are six main types resulting from: (1) changes of old age; (2) exposure to the elements; (3) previous burns; (4) internal medication; (5) prolonged chemical irritation; (6) roentgen or radium irradiation of the skin.

In the University of Michigan series in table 1 carcinomatous