When you notice an odd bump on your skin or an odd red or brown patch, you head to the dermatologist clinic to find out what is going on. While you likely expect to get told you have a simple skin irritation that can be treated with topical medications, you do not anticipate being told you have a rare form of skin cancer known as dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). However, now that you have found out that you have DFSP, your next thought is how to treat the condition. Get to know more about dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and how it is treated. With any luck, you will be healthy and cancer-free again before you know it.
What Exactly Is DFSP?
DFSP is a form of skin cancer that forms in the deeper layers of the skin and then moves to the surface. The first signs of this form of skin cancer are the aforementioned red bump or red or brown skin patch. Many people miss these signs as they assume they have a pimple forming underneath the surface of their skin or have a healing injury.
However, if left untreated or these early signs are not noticed, the lesions (tumors) become larger and more noticeable, even painful. It is not fully known what causes DFSP to develop in the people that it does. However, it seems to be more prevalent in areas of the skin that have previously suffered an injury including burns.
What Are The Treatment Options?
Luckily, while DFSP is rare and can be difficult to detect and diagnose, it does not often spread to other areas of the body. This makes treatment easier than for more aggressive forms of skin cancer.
Generally speaking, DFSP is treated through the surgical removal of the cancerous tumors. Because DFSP extends deep into the dermis, a major surgical excision may be necessary. This type of surgery involves cutting around the borders of the known tumor removing all known cancer cells as well as a small border of non-cancerous tissue.
Another surgical option is a micrographic surgery that can be less invasive. This type of surgery is performed one layer of the skin at a time until no further cancer cells are found. This surgical treatment can be more accurate at removing the DFSP cancer cells because each layer of skin is examined until the results are cancer-free.
If the cancer has spread, radiation and systemic therapy are also options available for treatment. However, the necessity for such treatments is extremely rare.
Now that you know more about your dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, you can get the treatment you need to get rid of this rare form of skin cancer. Additionally, because DFSP often recurs, you know what to look out for in the future and contact your dermatologist like one from Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists at the first sign of trouble.