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Pathology Photo of the Day:



Pathology Image of the Day:

Sister Mary Joseph's Nodule

Dr  Sampurna Roy  MD       




The cutaneous metastasis of a visceral malignancy to the umbilicus is known as "Sister Mary Joseph's Nodule".

In 1949 the English surgeon Sir Hamilton Bailey coined this term after Sister Mary Joseph (1856-1939).She was a superintendent nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

It may be the first sign of an underlying adenocarcinoma, originating mainly from the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tract.

Most of the primary tumours are located in the stomach, pancreas, large bowel and the ovary.

It is considered to be a predictor of poor prognosis because it mostly occurs in advanced, metastasizing cancer.

Clinically, the lesion is characterized by an irregular nodule, with ulceration and bloody discharge.

It may also present as an induration of the subcutaneous tissue

Careful examination of all umbilical lesions is needed for the early diagnosis of internal malignancy.


Further reading:

Gastric carcinoma of the umbilicus: case report of Sister Mary Joseph nodule.

Umbilical metastasis: Sister Mary Joseph's nodule .

Sister Mary Joseph nodule secondary to rectal adenocarcinoma].

Sister Mary Joseph nodule, a forgotten nodule.




Dr  Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)










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