Photos: 97-year-old woman with 20cm cutaneous horn on her knee

VietNamNet Bridge – Mrs. Doan Thi Ngon, 97, in Hai Loc commune, Hai Hau district, Nam Dinh province is suffering from a strange disease: a cutaneous horn of more than 20cm long has appeared on her left knee. The horn is growing, causing her pain.

Mrs. Ngon’s daughter, Doan Thi Tuoi, 55, said that the horn appeared in 2008. "Initially, the horn was like a thick piece of raw leather. We used a razor blade to cut it but after a short period of time it developed very quickly. Now we cannot cut it because it causes a lot of pain for my mum," Mrs. Tuoi said.

The horn is very hard, about 20 cm long, and it curves to the lap, hindering the old woman from making movement.

The woman has not gone to hospital for examination because the family is too poor.

According to the World Journal of Surgical Oncology (WJSO), this ailment is a cutaneous horn.

A cutaneous horn refers to a specific appearance of a skin lesion in which a cone-shaped protuberance arises on the skin caused by overgrowth of the most superficial layer of skin. It is not a particular lesion but is a reaction pattern of the skin. Approximately 40% of cutaneous horns represent precancerous lesions called actinic keratoses. Cutaneous horns may also overlie skin cancer. When overlying cancerous skin, squamous cell carcinoma is typically at the base of the cutaneous horn, but basal cell carcinoma is also possible.

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