Recent reports have dispelled the previously held concept that head and neck cancer rarely metastases beyond the cervical lymph nodes. Nasopharyngeal cancer has been reported to have a higher incidence of distant metastases compared to other head and neck cancers, the common sites being bone, lung and liver. A case of nasopharyngeal carcinoma presenting as obstructive jaundice because of secondaries at the porta hepatis is presented here.
A 29 year old Chinese female who presented with spontaneous purpura, was found to have gross hepatomegaly and thrombocytopenia. The thrombocytopenia responded to steroid therapy but relapsed when the dose of steroid was tapered down. Subsequent investigations revealed that the hepatomegaly was due to a large haemangioma of her liver. For symptomatic hepatic haemangioma, surgical excision is the treatment of choice; this was refused by the patient.
Necropsy and clinical data show that primary hepatocellular carcinoma (PHC) is the commonest cancer among the Senoi (a Malaysian aboringine group). The other aboringine tribes do not appear to have this high predilection for liver cancer. In the necropsy series, PHS was present in 10 out of 22 Senoi patients with cirrhosis. All the 22 livers contained hepatocytes that stained with Shikata's orcein stain and specific immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescent stains for hepatitis B antigen (HBAg). This observation raises the strong possibility that hepatitis B may be an important etiologic factor in the development of cirrhosis and PHC in the Senoi. The reason for the high susceptibility of the Senoi for HB virus infection is not clear, and the role of aflatoxin in the pathogenesis of PHC in the Senoi has yet to be determined. That the Senoi are a numerically small community, maintaining their own unique dietary and social customs and living in readily accessible areas in the Malaysian jungle, makes them an ideal population for the study of factors in the etiology of liver cancer.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection constitutes a major public health problem particularly in developing countries in East Asia, South-East Asia, the Pacific Basin and Africa. In Malaysia, a developing nation in the South East Asian region, the chronic HBV carrier rate varies between < 1% to about 10% depending on the ethnic group studied. The highest frequency is seen among the Chinese, followed by the Malays and lastly the Indians, with a male preponderance of between 2 : 1 and 3 : 1. Exposure to the virus among the adult population is estimated to be about 15%, 26% and 36% among the Indians, Malays and Chinese respectively. Serological study of adult chronic HBV carriers showed a frequency of HBe antigenemia of about 35%, with a significant decreasing trend with age. HBV DNA status generally correlated with the HBe status. An atypical profile of anti-HBe associated with serum HBV DNA is found in some carriers; in most instances, this is related to seroconversion from HBe antigenemia to anti-HBe. Chronic complications of HBV infection include the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the occurrence of which closely parallel that of HBsAg carrier rate. In Malaysia, HCC is the third most common malignant neoplasm and among the 10 leading causes of death. About 80% of our HCC cases are HBV associated. All 3 ethnic groups are afflicted, the highest frequency being among the Chinese. Males show a disproportionate risk with an odds ratio of 3.93 (p < 0.0001).
A term newborn infant developed hypovolaemic shock shortly after birth. She was pale with gross hepatomegaly. She required multiple boluses of intravenous fluids, blood products as well as inotropic support. Blood investigations showed persistent thrombocytopenia, anaemia and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). She also developed heart failure. She finally succumbed on the eleventh day of life. Autopsy revealed haemangiomatosis involving the liver, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and adrenals.
Strongyloidiasis is an infection caused by the intestinal nematode Strongyloides stercoralis. Infected healthy individuals are usually asymptomatic, however it is potentially fatal in immunocompromised hosts due to its capacity to cause an overwhelming hyperinfection. Strongyloidiasis could be missed during routine screening because of low and intermittent larval output in stool and variable manifestations of the symptoms. We present two cases of strongyloidiasis occurring in children with solid organ malignancies suspected to have the infection based on their clinical conditions and treatment history for cancer. Both patients were diagnosed by molecular and serological tests and were successfully treated. Thus, strongyloidiasis in patients undergoing intensive treatment for malignancies should be suspected, properly investigated and treated accordingly.