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DFSP (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans)

DFSP (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans) is an uncommon and slow growing form of skin cancer. It starts in the dermis, which is the middle layer of skin. Because of its slow growth rate, this type of cancer is not likely to affect other areas of the body and it is rarely fatal, However, treatment is still very important because it can cause localized damage, affecting nearby muscle and bone tissue. Dr. Andrew treats DSFP patients at our Fort Lauderdale office.


DFSP is most common in adults between the age of 20 and 50, although it can happen at any age. This type of cancer may go undetected for many months, sometimes even years. 

The first sign is usually a small, rubbery-feeling lump beneath the skin. As it grows, it stretches the overlying skin. The changes usually happen very slowly, though the tumors tend to grow more quickly in pregnant women. 

  • When it first develops, the spot may look like a pimple or rough patch of skin, without pain or discomfort.

  • As the lump grows, the area can become tender.

  • The skin may crack or bleed.

  • The lump usually feels hard, as if it was cemented in place.

  • The color of the lesion may be red or bluish in young patients; it is usually violet to red-brown in older adults

  • One a person has one DSFP, more tumors are likely to develop. Usually, these additional spots grow more quickly.

Self-diagnosis is risky, especially with rare cancers, because many skin problems look quite similar to the untrained eye. It is advisable to see Dr. Andrew for an evaluation if you notice any unusual or concerning changes in your skin. He is trained in diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer and countless other dermatological diseases.

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