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Other Types of Skin Cancer

There are several types of skin cancers which are neither basal, squamous, or melanoma. These are much more rare, however they do still occur and are treatable.

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

  • cancer of the lymphatic system that shows a predisposition to attack the skin normally it attacks the lymphocytes (the blood cells which regulate immunity)
  • quite rare, as 90% of lymphomas are B-cell, and in general difficult to treat with a greater chance of recurring

Kaposi's Sarcoma

  • once was extremely rare, only occurring in older people of Russian-Jewish, Italian and African extraction
  • has had a significant increase of a more virulent form associated with AIDS, is caused by Herpes virus 8 infection, with men affected over twice as much as women

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

  • rare, potentially aggressive form of non-melanoma skin cancer
  • begins in the cells that produce hormones involved in the regulation of the nervous system
  • tumours are found on or just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles

Sebaceous Carcinoma

  • arises in the sebaceous glands that produces sebum which keeps the skin moist
  • the tumours can be aggressive, and can invade the local and surrounding tissue in several areas
  • can spread in 14-25% of cases to lungs, liver, brain, bone and lymph nodes

Atypical Fibroxanthoma

  • a rare spindle cell tumour of the skin
  • locally aggressive, it can involve surrounding tissues but is unlikely to spread
  • if it does spread, it may spread to the parotid gland, lymph nodes, and lung

Microcystic Adnexal Carcinoma (MAC)

  • rare low grade tumour of the sweat glands which is unlikely to spread, but can grow locally, becoming quite large

(Some material, facts, and figures have been adapted from The BC Cancer Agency ( and The Canadian Cancer Society (