Rare Types of Skin Cancer
Rare Types of Skin Cancer
The following skin cancers are rare:
- Sebaceus gland carcinoma mostly appears on eyelids in old people. It spreads early, so it is life
dangerous. Treatment is with surgical removal.
- Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) arises from the cells that line blood or lymph vessels. It is caused by virus
HHV-8. Multiple red, purple, or brown spots or nodules develop simultaneously under various layers of the skin..
KS may be related with organ transplantation, AIDS, Mediterranean heritage, or regions of equatorial Africa.
Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and biologic therapy are available. Prognosis varies a lot from case to
- Anogenital carcinoma includes carcinoma of penis, scrotum, vulva, peri-anal skin, and anus. Several
years after organ transplantation, numerous tumors that resemble warts may develop.
- Merkel cell carcinoma arises from neuroendocrine Merkel cells of the skin. It appears as a fleshy
red or violet bump on the sun exposed skin.
- Cutaneous lymphoma arise from lymphocites in the skin.There are numerous varieties, and they can manifest as tumors,
plaques, or red patches.
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is aggressive skin tumor arising from the dermis, and appearing as
irregular red to violaceus plaque of various size. Treatment is with surgical removal.
- Spindle cell tumors
- Microcystic adnexal carcinoma is a locally aggressive skin tumor arising from sweat glands. It may
appear from 10-80 years of age, usually as a yellow or red plaque on the head or neck.
- Paget's disease of the breast is a cancer that
primarily affects women and infrequently affects men.It develops around the
breast cancer nipple. The nipple's
skin is red, scaly, and may itch.
- Atypical fibroxanthoma usually appears on the head or neck of the persons whose skin was severely
exposed to the sun. Rapidly growing, dome shaped, red nodules may become ulcerated. Treatment is with
complete surgical removal, prognosis is good.
- Leimyosarcoma: A rare tumor called leimyosarcoma develops from smooth muscle cells (which are also found in the skin).
- Angiosarcoma (pictures included) of the skin arises from skin blood vessels. It usually appears on the
scalp as a bluish or violaceus nodule or plaque. These are aggressive tumors with poor prognosis. Treatment
is with combination of surgery and radiotherapy.
Pre-cancerous Skin Growths
Skin changes that tend to develop into cancer with time are called pre-canceroses. Skin pre-canceroses include:
- Actinic keratosis
- Actinic cheilitis
Non-cancerous Skin Growths
The following skin growths are not cancers and they don’t develop into cancer:
- Warts, including anal and genital warts
- Moluscum contagiousum
- Most of moles (skin tags), but every mole, increasing in size, or changing its appearance is suspicious
for skin cancer)
- Most of birthmarks