Cancer - Oncology

Additional Skin Cancers

These less common forms of skin cancer are non-melanomas, and each has its own symptoms and treatments. They include Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), and sweat gland tumors.

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, but aggressive type of non-melanoma skin cancer. MCC is usually diagnosed on those who are at least 70 years old. The risk factors for MCC is a suppressed immune system if a patient has had an organ transplant and is taking immune system suppressing medications to prevent the rejection of the transplanted organ, malignancies such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or an immune weakening infection such as HIV.

Signs of Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC)

MCC is typically a firm bump on the skin that may be purple or red. Most commonly, MCC originates on skin exposed to ultraviolet light, such as the head and neck.

Treatments for Merkel Cell Carcinoma

MCC may involve a combination of surgical and radiation treatments.

Treatments for Advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Chemotherapy is considered when MCC spreads to other parts of the body. Advanced MCC is rare and must be managed by your experienced medical team.

Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP)

Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP) is a very rare, soft-tissue tumor in the dermis (the mid-layer of the skin) on the trunk of the body, upper limbs, or head and neck. DFSP invades deeper soft tissue and occurs in adults aged 20-50 years, and less frequently in children and infants who may be born with DFSP.

Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP) Treatments

DFSPs are typically removed through excision surgery. Mohs surgery is the preferred treatment for DFSPs on the head or neck.

Advanced Treatments for Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP)

For cases of DFSP that cannot be fully treated surgically, tyrosine kinase inhibitor, imatinib mesylate (Gleevac) can be taken orally before or after surgery to reduce the risk of its recurring.

Sweat Gland Tumors

Sweat Gland Tumors, also known as syringomas, are rare, benign skin lesions that usually form as tiny bumps that appear on or near the eyelids, or other areas of the body such as the armpits, vulva, and the lower abdomen.

Sweat Gland Tumor Treatments

Surgery is used to remove sweat gland tumors, and chemotherapy may be used on a case by case basis. These malignancies are rare, and you must discuss treatment with your dermatologist or oncologist.