Ann Surg Treat Res.  2015 May;88(5):294-297. 10.4174/astr.2015.88.5.294.

Large cutaneous apocrine carcinoma occurring on right thigh aggravated after moxa treatment

  • 1Department of Pathology, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Primary cutaneous apocrine carcinoma is a rare adnexal tumor of the skin that occurs mainly in the axilla, anogenital area while the scalp and the lower extremities, especially the thigh, are very unusual sites. However, clinical or pathologic characteristics have not been well established due to a paucity of this tumor. Herein, we report very unusual case of apocrine carcinoma present as a huge mass in the lateral thigh of 77-year-old woman, which was aggravated abruptly after an irritation by moxa treatment, with a brief review of the literature.


Skin appendage carcinoma; Apocrine glands; Moxibustion

MeSH Terms

Apocrine Glands
Carcinoma, Skin Appendage
Lower Extremity


  • Fig. 1 (A) Grossly; large, firm, movable mass with thickened overlying skin is noted on anterolateral side of thigh, measuring about 6 cm in greatest dimension. (B) On precontrast CT, approximately 4.6 × 4.3-cm sized, oval shaped soft tissue mass is located in dermis and subcutis of right thigh having no connection with muscle. (C, D) After contrast injection, mass shows and heterogeneous enhancement and faint calcification.

  • Fig. 2 (A) At low power view, mass was relatively well defined but had focally infiltrative features. Tumor cell nests show decapitation secretion and glandular differentiation (H&E, ×12.5). (B) Some nests show tubular and cribriform arrangement with bloody luminal secretion (H&E, ×40). (C) Tumor cells have abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, round to oval nuclei, dispersed chromatin and inconspicuous nuclei with frequent mitoses (H&E, ×400). (D) Deep portion of mass shows infiltrated tumor glands surround by sclerotic stroma (H&E, ×100). (E) Tumor cells are positive for CK19, suggesting origin of skin appendage (CK19, ×100). (F) High proliferation index is noted, estimating over 50% (Ki-67, ×100).


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