You may have noticed a number of headlines referencing the “Tree Man” from Bangladesh with claims he is “cured” after 16 operations for his rare genetic disorder that transformed his hands and feet into bark-like warts and cutaneous horns.  

Also called Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis (EV), this debilitating, heritable condition is often referred to as “Tree Man Illness” or “Tree Man Syndrome.” Though it manifests throughout the body via innumerable abnormal growths on the skin, it is considered to be caused by a genetic impairment that triggers a defect in a person’s cell-mediated immunity.  

More than 200 cases have been reported since it was first described in 1922 by two dermatologists, hence, its other name “Lewandowsky Lutz Dysplasia.” (1) Most present in childhood...

Things aren’t always what they seem.  Why should this colloquialism be any different in the medical realm?

Incidental findings are rather commonplace.  Meaning:  When exploring one diagnostic avenue for a symptom, another existing often more significant issue presents itself unrelated to the initial event.

This is exactly what has been reported by the Japanese Society of Neuropathology.  In a recent published case report, the authors describe an adolescent female who—while undergoing an emergency surgery for appendicitis— was discovered to have large, bilateral, mostly cystic ovarian masses (aka tumors).  

Three months later they were removed.  The mature cystic teratoma of her ovary...