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A Case of Bowen’s Disease and Small-Cell Lung Carcinoma: Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Arsenic Exposure in Chinese Traditional Medicine *

Chronic arsenic toxicity occurs primarily through inadvertent ingestion of contaminated water and food or occupational exposure, but it can also occur through medicinal ingestion. This case features a 53-year-old lifetime nonsmoker with chronic asthma treated for 10 years in childhood with Chinese traditional medicine containing arsenic. The patient was diagnosed with Bowen’s disease and developed extensive-stage small-cell carcinoma of the lung 10 years and 47 years, respectively, after the onset of arsenic exposure.

Although it has a long history as a medicinal agent, arsenic is a carcinogen associated with many malignancies including those of skin and lung. It is more commonly associated with non–small-cell lung cancer, but the temporal association with Bowen’s disease in the absence of other chemical or occupational exposure strongly points to a causal role for arsenic in this case of small-cell lung cancer. Individuals with documented arsenic-induced Bowen’s disease should be considered for more aggressive screening for long-term complications, especially the development of subsequent malignancies.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 10-20-2008