Diagnosis and management of uncommon cutaneous cancers

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Adam Topping, Geoffrey R Wilson

Abstract

Uncommon types of cutaneous cancers are mainly cited in the literature as case reports and their etiology, pathogenesis and prognosis have to be surmised because of their rarity. Within this group exist the rare and also the unusual, for instance a relatively common carcinoma arising in a strange circumstance. Initial management of such tumors involves taking a history and performing a thorough examination, allowing a diagnosis to be made. These tend to follow one of three patterns: the lesion is confidently recognized; the lesion is unknown but a likely diagnosis can be made and; the lesion is unknown. It is within the latter two groupings that the uncommon cutaneous cancers exist. A biopsy is then performed to confirm the diagnosis. For large lesions a punch or incisional biopsy is taken which must include a portion of normal skin at the lesion edge. If the lesion is small enough to allow direct closure, an excision biopsy is performed, with a minimum margin of 2mm. Shave biopsy can be employed to confirm a diagnosis, but care must be taken that the subsequent management of the lesion is not adversely affected. With the rare tumors diagnosis can be difficult and there may not be enough tissue in a biopsy for a definitive diag...Continue Reading

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