Atypical Fibroxanthoma.

Rare skin cancer of the elderly.

Atypical Fibroxanthoma (AFX) is a rare Skin Tumour that occurs in response to UV light.

Think of Atypical Fiboxanthoma (AFX) in an older fair-skinned man with an enlarging  nodule on the head or neck. The appearance is not specific and, particularly when scaly, may look like squamous cell carcinoma.

The final diagnosis is made by expert pathological examination of a good quality, deep biopsy sample. Diagnosis is not straightforward, and special stains are often required to distinguish the AFX from ‘undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma’ (UPS).

The tumor is low grade but does require surgical excision with wide margins to keep the rate of recurrence to a minimum.

Mohs surgery is an additional option.

Metastases (distance spread) occurs in 0.5% to 4% of cases.

South East Skin Clinic refers patients with AFX to secondary care.