Oral ulcer as an exclusive sign of gastric cancer: Report of a rare case

Piergiuseppe Colombo, Luca Tondulli, Giovanna Masci, Andrea Muzza, Lorenza Rimasa, Duccio Petrella, Armando Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The oral cavity is a rare but occasional target for metastases, which may masquerade as various benign and inflammatory lesions, and sometimes also be asymptomatic. Oral metastatic lesions have been described in various cancers, particularly lung, breast and kidney carcinoma. Case presentation: We here describe an uncommon case of a hard palate mucosa and gingival metastasis from gastric carcinoma that was originally diagnosed as a periodontal disease. Histopathological examination of a biopsy of the lesion revealed a signet-ring cell carcinoma, and a subsequent biopsy of an ulcerated stomach lesion showed a poorly differentiated gastric carcinoma. The patient underwent gastric resection but died of heart failure on the tenth postoperative day; a post-mortem examination revealed a residual bilateral ovarian infiltration by gastric carcinoma (Krukenberg's tumor). Conclusion: An occult carcinoma of the stomach may rarely metastasise to the oral cavity even as a first and exclusive manifestation; it is important to bear this possibility in mind because such conditions may mimic a benign disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Sep 19 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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