Skin cancer is the most frequently occurring malignancy in the United States. While most cancerous skin spots are basal and squamous cell carcinomas or, less commonly, deadly melanoma – other types exist, too. Here is information on these rare cancerous skin spots and how to recognize them.
Rare Types of Skin Cancers
There are at least seven kinds of skin cancers that occur in the adult population. If you notice any signs or symptoms of these cancerous spots on your skin, make sure you see a trusted dermatologist right away. All adults from age 40 and up should have annual skin cancer screenings with a qualified dermatologist.
1. Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP)
This rare skin cancer develops in the layer of skin called the dermis, usually in response to an injury. It grows slowly and rarely spreads beyond the original site; however, it has a high degree of recurrence. DFSP may develop on the torso, legs, and arms. It often appears as a painless lump under the skin.
2. Kaposi’s Sarcoma
This malignancy grows within cells that line lymph nodes and blood vessels. It appears as a series of red, brown, and /or purple lumps anywhere on the skin and also on the lymph nodes, other body organs, or the mucus membranes. Classic Kaposi’s sarcoma, or CKS, grows in response to exposure to the Human Herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), which is transmitted in saliva. The spots are highly aggressive because they target immune systems weakened by HIV, cancer treatment, or other compromising health conditions.
3. Microcystic Adnexal Carcinoma (MAC)
MAC is a very rare skin cancer that develops in the sweat glands of the head and neck. Most patients notice a lump in the middle of their faces. The cause of this skin cancer seems to be UV light and sun exposure. The yellow, smooth, flat lesions rarely spread to other areas of the body.
4. Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC)
Highly aggressive and prone to metastasize, MCC comes from the Merkel cell polyomavirus. It attacks people who are immunosuppressed. Lesions are located in areas exposed to the sun. Typically, these lesions are painless but they spread so quickly that both patients and healthcare providers notice them.
5. Extramammary Paget’s Disease (EMPD)
EMPD affects sweat glands in the genital area and armpits. Rash-like in appearance, this rare cancer is very slow-growing.
6. Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma
Soft in texture, these cancers grow in older men and specifically target fibroblast cells in the dermis layer of the skin. As such, they can appear anywhere on the body and spread quickly.
7. Sebaceous Sarcoma
This type of cancerous skin spot develops in the oil (sebaceous) glands of the forehead and eyelids. Usually, the lumps are painless, yellow, and may bleed. People who have a genetic defect called Muir-Torre syndrome seem particularly susceptible to this rare skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Care in Coral Gables, FL
Dr. T.J. Giuffrida is a board-certified and fellowship-trained Mohs skin cancer surgeon. He specializes in advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques for all types and stages of skin cancer.
He and his team would like to help you prevent, recognize, and, when necessary, be treated for skin cancer in our state-of-the-art clinic in Coral Gables, Florida. Call Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center at (305) 461-2000 for more information or request an appointment online now.