Given the prevalence of cancer and leishmaniasis worldwide, the presence of these two pathologies in the same tissue sample may be merely fortuitous. The clinical outcome of both diseases is under the control of innate and adaptive immunity, and in both cases these progressive diseases are characterized by an impaired host Th1 response. As a consequence, the Th2 cytokine microenvironment occurring in progressive leishmaniasis may potentially promote tumor cell proliferation and vice versa. On the other hand, clinical aspects of subclinical cutaneous or visceral leishmaniasis sometimes closely resemble those observed in various neoplasms thus leading to misdiagnosis. In this review, we present recent findings on the association between leishmaniasis and malignant disorders. Our review includes HIV positive, HIV negative subjects and patients whose HIV status has not been established. Leishmaniasis mimicking a malignant disorder was confirmed and extended to unreported neoplastic disorders including squamous cell carcinoma, T-cell and B-cell lymphoma, oral and intranasal tumors and granulomas. Thus, leishmaniasis should be considered in the differential diagnosis and course of various cancers in Leishmania endemic areas or in patients with travel history to these areas. We also listed recent reports showing that Leishmania can promote cancer development in immunocompromised as well as in immunocompetent patients. The potential mechanisms supporting this promoting effect are discussed.