Vital Signs: Confusing Cues

A spreading rash signals something far more dangerous than a skin condition.

By Stewart Massad|Monday, November 02, 2009
RELATED TAGS: CANCER, WOMEN’S HEALTH
dermatomyositis
When Martha Dodd first noticed the rash on her chest, she dismissed it. She was 57, after all, and her body seemed to be growing less refined year by year. Her periods had stopped six years before, and she thought the rash might be just part of life after menopause, like drooping breasts, lines around her eyes, and most recently the swelling of her belly and the aching in her joints.Unlike the adjacent brown age spots—which she knew were from too many summers in low-cut swimsuits—this was a blo...
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