Demodex spp. Infestation in a breast-cancer patient: A case report
Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis are obligatory parasites that live in sebaceous glands and follicles. When immune system becomes suppressed by any reason, patients become vulnerable to obligatory parasites like D. folliculorum and D. brevis. Immune system becomes suppressed in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy, and as a result these patients become vulnerable to infestations. In our case, a 45 year-old female has been admitted to oncology clinic for a medical treatment of breast cancer. Her systematic physical examination was normal, except redness on her cheeks and forehead. There was no abnormality in biochemical and haematological laboratory values. We have decided to apply chemotherapy of Adriamycin, cyclophosphamide and 5-fluorouracil. Due to the itchy redness on her cheeks and forehead, we had performed an examination for demodex before chemotherapy; and we have identified 20 mites/cm² on her right and left cheeks, and 15 mites/cm² on her forehead. When our patient had came our clinic with increasing complaint of itchy rash, after the first course of chemotherapy we have reexamined demodex. The result of microscopic examination revealed large amount of demodex of 50 mites/cm² on her right and left cheeks and 30 mites/cm² on her forehead, which were nearly 2.5-times higher than the previous examination. This increase probably was associated with immune suppression of chemotherapy.
Keywords: Chemotherapy, demodex, infestation