MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

Loading

Atypical Fibroxanthoma

By

Gregory L. Wells

, MD, Ada West Dermatology, St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center, and St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center

Last full review/revision May 2019| Content last modified May 2019
Click here for the Professional Version

Atypical fibroxanthoma is a skin sarcoma (a type of cancer) that tends to grow slowly.

Atypical fibroxanthomas are uncommon but usually occur on the head and neck of older people. They may look like other skin cancers (other than melanoma) and often appear as pink-red raised areas or bumps that do not heal and may be tender.

Diagnosis

  • Biopsy

Doctors base the diagnosis of atypical fibroxanthoma on the results of a biopsy. During this procedure, a small piece of the tumor is removed and examined under a microscope.

Prevention

Because atypical fibroxanthoma cancers seem to be related to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light (see Overview of Sunlight and Skin Damage), doctors recommend a number of measures to limit UV exposure, starting in early childhood.

  • Avoiding the sun: For example, seeking shade, minimizing outdoor activities between 10 AM and 4 PM (when the sun’s rays are strongest), and avoiding sunbathing and the use of tanning beds

  • Wearing protective clothing: For example, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and broad-brimmed hats

  • Using sunscreen: At least sun protection factor (SPF) 30 with UVA and UVB protection used as directed and reapplied every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating but not used to prolong sun exposure

Treatment

  • Removal of the tumor

Atypical fibroxanthomas do not typically spread (metastasize) to other organs. Tumors are surgically removed, or Mohs microscopically controlled surgery is done.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version

Also of Interest

Videos

View All
Hives
Video
Hives
Hives is a harmless skin condition that is caused by an increased blood flow and fluid in...
3D Models
View All
Lymphangitic Streak
3D Model
Lymphangitic Streak

SOCIAL MEDIA

TOP