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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 81-86

Fatal tetanus infection originating from fungating advanced breast cancer: Case report and review of the literature

1 Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, ABUTH, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, Oncology Unit, AKTH, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Radiology, ABUTH, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdullahi Adamu
Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria -810001, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ais.ais_46_18

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Tetanus is an acute and potentially fatal disease caused by an exotoxin produced by a bacterium, Clostridium tetani. The cultural habit of application of concoctions made from mud and animal dung to chronic and necrotic wounds in our environment may provide a portal of entry for serious tetanus infection. There is a paucity of published data of tetanus infection arising from a necrotic breast tumor as a possible portal of entry in study area necessitating our report on a 48-year-old woman with extensive and fungating invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast who acquired fatal tetanus infection presumably from application of animal dung to the necrotic chest wall tumor. Patient and caregiver's education, clinical awareness, timely treatment, and proper tetanus vaccination in predisposed patients before surgical excision, debridement, or chemotherapy might be necessary to prevent this catastrophe.

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