Epidemiology and predictors of recurrence of Marjolin’s ulcer: experience from Mansoura Universityxs

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Marjolin’s ulcer (MU) is an uncommon malignancy occurring on top of old scars. Once thought to be more common in Caucasians, is now detected increasingly in Africa.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of patients with MU attending a tertiary centre within Mansoura University (Egypt) from 2004 to 2015. An institutional-based registry of skin and soft-tissue malignancies in this period revealed 560 cases, from which there were 26 cases of MU.

RESULTS

The most common underlying cause of MU was burns (92% of patients), followed by trauma. A predilection towards males was detected. The latent period was 4-70 (median, 25) years. Recurrence occurred in 12 cases, with multiple recurrences occurring in 5 cases. MU recurrence was noted as early as 3 months and as late as 25 years after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Young patients with MU are at higher risk of recurrence and should be followed up closely. A thorough search for nodal metastasis (especially in those with high-grade tumours) should be done. Wide local excision and leaving wounds to heal by secondary intention seems to be a viable treatment option.

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