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Atypical Fibroxanthoma

By

Gregory L. Wells

, MD, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine

Last full review/revision Jan 2021| Content last modified Jan 2021
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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 Melanoma Melanoma is a skin cancer that begins in the pigment-producing cells of the skin (melanocytes). Melanomas can begin on normal skin or in existing moles. They may be irregular, flat or raised... read more Melanoma ) and often appear as pink-red raised areas or bumps that do not heal and may be tender.

Diagnosis of Atypical Fibroxanthoma

  • Biopsy

Doctors base the diagnosis of atypical fibroxanthoma on the results of a biopsy Biopsy Doctors can identify many skin disorders simply by looking at the skin. A full skin examination includes examination of the scalp, nails, and mucous membranes. Sometimes the doctor uses a hand-held... read more Biopsy . During this procedure, a small piece of the tumor is removed and examined under a microscope.

Prevention of Atypical Fibroxanthoma

Because atypical fibroxanthoma cancers seem to be related to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light (see Overview of Sunlight and Skin Damage Overview of Sunlight and Skin Damage Sunlight stimulates vitamin D production, helps control some chronic skin diseases (such as psoriasis), and causes a sense of well-being. However, sunlight can cause skin damage. Damage includes... read more Overview of Sunlight and Skin Damage ), doctors recommend a number of measures to limit UV exposure, starting in early childhood.

Treatment of Atypical Fibroxanthoma

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