Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that if diagnosed early usually has a very good prognosis. Unfortunately, individuals with various comorbidities (pre-existing conditions) may be more susceptible to both contracting the condition and succumbing to the illness.
Many people develop squamous cell carcinomas on their limbs due to a past traumatic injury, such as a burn, or from a long-standing infection such as osteomyelitis (bone infection). Also known as Marjolin’s ulcer, this condition is a rare but a well-known complication which must always be considered by the treating physicians or podiatrist when evaluating injuries to the skin or nailbed.1
Currently, we are litigating a matter involving a tragic case of a middle-aged man with a history of HIV, and Kaposi sarcoma (a cancer that forms masses on the skin or other organs) who went many times over the course of a year to podiatrists and doctors with complaints of a significant ulceration to the Hallux (big toe) with intense pain.
Various imaging studies were done and antibiotics were prescribed, but the healthcare providers never performed a tissue/bone biopsy to determine the actual pathology. Despite the patient’s underlying HIV condition and the high propensity and link of developing skin cancer, the diagnosis of a Marjolin’s ulcer and squamous cell carcinoma was delayed significantly. As a result, our client required multiple amputations, chemotherapies, and ultimately passed away from the longstanding metastasis.