eISSN: 2299-0046
ISSN: 1642-395X
Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii
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vol. 37
Letter to the Editor

Basal cell carcinoma arising in port wine stains: coincidence or correlation?

Iwona Chlebicka
Aleksandra Stefaniak
Andrzej Bieniek
Jacek Szepietowski

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Adv Dermatol Allergol 2020; XXXVII (2):272 –273
Online publish date: 2020/05/06
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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) developing in port wine stains (PWS) has rarely been reported in the literature [1]. Most of those patients were treated in childhood with radiotherapy for PWS [2]. On the other hand there is an ongoing discussion on possible connections between BCC and PWS [1–3]. A port wine stain is a vascular anomaly which is present at birth and persists during life. It occurs in 0.3% of neonates [3]. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and it usually affects elderly patients [4, 5]. There are few well-documented risk factors for developing BCC such as sun exposure and ionizing radiation treatment [5].
Here, we present 5 cases of BCC in PWS in middle-aged female patients not treated with radiotherapy for PWS previously. It seems that this is a biggest case series of BCC in PWS collected from one surgical centre and the third report documenting BCC in PWS in a non-facial area [3].
During the last 10 years (2008–2017) five patients with BCC in the PWS were surgically treated. All patients were middle-aged Caucasian females (48–67 years old). All the cases presented with a clinical nodular type of BCC with ulceration present in the centre in two of them. In four of them BCC was located on the face and in one on the abdomen. They were all located within PWS, however in one patient the BCC was located peripherally. The duration of the BCC development before the admission to the hospital was 6–26 months. As the clinical diagnosis was very suggestive for BCC the lesions were removed surgically and in 4 of them finalized with primary closure. In one patient the local flap was employed. There were no problems with bleeding during the surgery. In all the patients postsurgical recovery was without any complications. The histological diagnosis of BCC was confirmed in all patients (Table 1, Figures 1–3).
Basal cell carcinoma arising in port wine stains has been rarely described in the literature. We were able to find about 30 reported cases in the available database (in 1948–2018). Most of the documented cases (approximately 75%) were associated with radiotherapy for PWS usually many years before the BCC development [1]. To the best of our knowledge, there are only eight described cases of BCC arising in PWS in patients without any prior therapy. All of them are single case reports from different European and Asian surgical centres and most of them have been reported in recent years [2]. Beyond prior...

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