DFSP Specialist

Desiree Ratner, MD -  - Dermatologist

Desiree Ratner, MD

Dermatologist located in Murray Hill, New York, NY

Desiree Ratner, MD, has more than 23 years of experience diagnosing and treating rare forms of cancer, including dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) from her practice in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, getting routine screenings is critical to catching and treating all forms of skin cancer early. Call Dr. Ratner’s office to schedule a consultation today.

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) and other less common skin cancers

What is dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans?

DFSP is a rare form of skin cancer. It begins in the connective tissue in the middle layer of your skin, known as the dermis. DFSP initially looks like a scar, hard pimple, or rough patch of skin. Over time the protuberans, the medical term for the nodule that develops, grows on your skin.

The nodules are red, pink, or brown and are raised with slightly rounded tops, like a pencil eraser. They grow slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of your body. Nonetheless, getting treatment and having the growth removed is critical because the protuberans will continue to grow and it can cause complications if it reaches your muscle or bone.

What are other less common skin cancers?

There are several other types of skin cancer that are less common than melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Merkel cell carcinoma

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare but malignant form of skin cancer that develops on the upper layers of your skin, close to your nerve endings. It’s most often found on skin frequently exposed to the sun like your head, neck, arms, and legs. The growths are usually red, raised lumps that grow rapidly and are known to metastasize — or spread to other parts of the body — at early stages.

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma

With cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of white blood cell known as T-lymphocyte becomes cancerous and manifests on your skin, usually appearing as flat red patches that are scaly and itchy.

Kaposi sarcoma

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) begins in your lymph nodes or blood vessels and is linked to Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. This form of skin cancer develops as red, purple, or brown patches or tumors on your skin. The growths also cause swelling that can be painful, especially if occurs on your legs, groin, or around your eyes.

How are rare skin cancers diagnosed?

Dr. Ratner diagnoses both rare and more common forms of skin cancer with comprehensive exams and skin biopsies to test tissue samples for cancer cells. If you notice any new growths on your skin or any existing moles or marks that change in appearance, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ratner for an assessment right away.

How are rare skin cancers treated?

Whether you have a rare or more common form of skin cancer, Dr. Ratner provides customized care to remove your skin cancer and reduce its chances of recurrence. She’s a skilled surgeon who carefully removes growths from anywhere on your body, including sensitive areas like your face, neck, and the thin skin on your shins and ankles. When further treatment is necessary, such as radiation, she can refer you for the care you need to protect and preserve your skin and your health.

If you need an expert to diagnose a suspicious growth on your body, call Dr. Ratner to schedule an appointment today.