This patient information and photograph on Malignant Glomus Tumors is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? A malignant Glomus Tumor is a extremely rare form of skin cancer. Fewer that
100 cases have been reported in the medical literature. This is a rare malignant variant of the more common and benign glomus tumor. Although the benign glomus tumor typically is found around the finger tips the malignant glomus tumor may be found anywhere. Typically Malignant Glomus Tumors appear in adults. Unlike other skin cancers such as basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer and melanoma, sun exposure may not be related to the formation of this cancer.
What causes it? The exact cause of this skin cancer is unknown.
How is it treated? The treatment is surgical, but cases that spread may require radiation and/or chemotherapy.
Is it dangerous? Yes, even if treated 38 percent of patients can have spread to other organs. On occasion this spread to other organs can even be fatal.
Can it grow back? A small number may re-grow or spread to other areas of the body even after treatment. These will need further treatment.
Will I get more? People that have one skin cancer are at higher risk to get more. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of regular skin exams in those that have a history of malignant glomus cell tumors. You should become aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and point out to me any suspicious new growths that may occur.
Is it contagious? Malignant glomus tumors are not contagious and you can not "catch it" from anyone.