Public Health and Primary CareCASE REPORT

Sister Mary Joseph Nodule in a Patient With Advanced Prostate Cancer

Michael Chahin, DO; William Kogler, DO; Anthony Stack, DO; and Brittany Lyons, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: September 4, 2019

Accepted: September 25, 2019

Published: July 1, 2020

J Osteopath Med; 120(7): 476-478

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among US men. Metastasis typically occurs in the bone, lymph nodes, liver, and thorax. This case highlights a patient who was suspected of having prostate cancer several years before presenting to the emergency department with back pain and an umbilical hernia of increasing size. Gross examination revealed fixed masses on the abdominal wall that appeared malignant on computed tomographic imaging. The umbilical mass was a Sister Mary Joseph nodule (SMJN), which is sometimes found in patients with advanced, metastatic abdominal cancer. An SMJN is most commonly suggestive of gastrointestinal or gynecologic cancer, but it is a rarely reported finding in the context of prostate cancer. SMJN is a frequently missed finding that may delay further investigation for malignant neoplasms. This case reinforces the importance of this physical examination finding and provides evidence for adding prostate cancer to the list of possible diagnoses for patients who have an SMJN.

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