Sebaceous carcinoma (SC) is a less common skin cancer that commonly spreads if not treated early.
These tumors are most commonly found on the eyelid and form a painless, round, firm growth. It may grow slowly and bleed. Another common area for this tumor is the nose.
Mistaken identity: Stye, chalazion, or pink eye
There are many common growths that can develop on eyelids. These include:
: This is a hair follicle infection and is painful. If the infection occurs on the inside of the eyelid, it is called an internal hordeolum. Treatment is usually applying a warm compress 4 to 6 times a day.
: This is often painless and forms when an oil gland becomes blocked (and represents a cyst). Most clear with treatment, which includes warm compresses and antibiotic eye drops.
: (conjunctivitis) SC can look like pink eye that just won’t go away.
Who Gets It And Causes
Who gets sebaceous carcinoma?
People diagnosed are usually between 60 to 80 years of age. Other risk factors for SC include:
- Weakened immune system
- Radiation treatments to the head or neck
- Muir-Torre syndrome
What causes sebaceous carcinoma?
The cause is currently unknown.
Diagnosis And Treatment
How does Dr. Andrew diagnose sebaceous carcinoma?
A skin biopsy is the only way to diagnose skin cancer. What Dr. Andrew removes will be examined under a microscope.
How is sebaceous carcinoma treated?
Most patients diagnosed with SC are treated with surgery.
- Mohs surgery: To learn more this procedure, click here.
- Surgery to remove lymph nodes
- Radiation treatments
What outcome (prognosis) can a patient with SC expect?
When found early and treated, the prognosis is good. If the cancer spreads, then other treatments must be used to control the disease.