Sister Mary Joseph and her nodule: historical and clinical perspective

Am J Med Sci. 2009 Apr;337(4):271-3. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e3181954187.


Sister Mary Joseph's nodule is referred to a metastatic lesion of the umbilicus originating from intra-abdominal or pelvic malignant disease. Metastases from other locations have been also reported. In 1949 the English surgeon Sir Hamilton Bailey coined this term after Sister Mary Joseph (1856-1939), a superintendent nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, who was the first to observe the association between the umbilical nodule and intra-abdominal malignancy. In this article, we discuss both the historical and clinical perspectives of Sister Mary Joseph's nodule.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Neoplasms / history
  • Abdominal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Eponyms
  • History of Nursing
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / history
  • Pelvic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Umbilicus / pathology*
  • United States

Personal name as subject

  • None Sister Mary Joseph