Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a rare type of slow-growing skin cancer that arises from the fibrous tissue of the skin. If left untreated, it can invade deeper structures under the skin, such as fat, muscle, or bone and can even metastasize to other organs such as the lungs—so the sooner it is found and treated, the better the outcome. NewYork-Presbyterian's skin cancer and sarcoma specialists are experts in the treatment of DFSP and offer a full range of therapies to meet your needs.

A Team of Specialists

You have access to a team of dermatologists, Mohs surgeons, dermatopathologists (doctors with advanced training in the skin histology), medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and others with experience caring for people with squamous cell carcinoma. Your team will customize a plan of care tailored to your medical needs and personal preferences.

Surgery for Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

Your treatment for DFSP will most likely include surgery to remove the tumor. NewYork-Presbyterian's skin cancer surgeons often use Mohs surgery, which must be performed by specially trained physicians. During this procedure, the tumor is removed layer by layer and microscopically examined each time to ensure elimination of cancer while preserving as much healthy skin as possible.

Nonsurgical Treatments for Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans

If your tumor has invaded fat, muscle, or bone, you may have other treatments besides surgery to destroy cancer.

  • Radiation therapy. We use radiation to treat some large or oddly situated DFSP. We also use it after surgery in some people to kill any remaining cancer cells. NewYork-Presbyterian's radiation treatment centers are state-of-the-art facilities featuring the latest highly focused radiation technologies.
  • Oral anticancer therapy. Imatinib is an oral drug (taken by mouth) used to treat some people with DFSP tumors that cannot be treated with surgery, have come back after prior therapy, or have spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, imatinib shrinks an inoperable tumor enough so that is can be surgically removed. Your doctor will tell you if imatinib is part of your treatment plan and advise you on its use.

Follow-Up Care

Because DFSP has a tendency to come back, your doctor will want to see you periodically to check you for recurrence. Your team at NewYork-Presbyterian is here to monitor you for as long as you need.

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