Cylindroma

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
March 9, 2023


What is a cylindroma?

Cylindroma is a non-cancerous type of skin tumour. The tumour develops from sweat glands normally found in the skin. People with Brooke–Spiegler syndrome (BSS) commonly develop multiple cylindromas. This syndrome is associated with an alteration in the gene CLYD.

Is a cylindroma a type of cancer?

No. Cylindroma is a non-cancerous type of skin tumour.

Where are cylindromas found?

Cylindromas are typically found on the head and neck but the upper chest and back can also be involved.

What causes a cylindroma?

For most patients, the cause of a cylindroma remains unknown. However, patients with the genetic syndrome Brooke–Spiegler syndrome (BSS) are known to develop multiple cylindromas. In patients with BSS, the tumours are caused by a change in the gene CYLD.

Can a cylindroma turn into cancer over time?

No. A cylindroma is a non-cancerous tumour that will not turn into cancer over time.

How is cylindroma diagnosed?

The diagnosis is made after part or all of the tumour is removed and the tissue is examined under a microscope by a pathologist.

What does a cylindroma look like under the microscope?

When examined under the microscope, the tumour is made up of cells that appear dark blue. Pathologists describe these cells as ‘basaloid’ because they resemble the basal cells normally found in the skin. The tumour cells are arranged in small groups separated by a bright pink basement membrane material. The groups of tumour cells are often described as showing a ‘jigsaw-like pattern of growth.

Cylindroma
Cylindroma. The tumour is made up of dark blue cells arranged in groups that fit together like a jig-saw puzzle.
What is a margin?

A margin is any tissue that was cut by the surgeon in order to remove the tumour from your body. A negative margin means there were no tumour cells at the edge of the tissue. A margin is considered positive when there are tumour cells at the edge of the tissue. A positive margin is associated with a higher risk that the tumour will grow back (recur) in the same site after treatment.

Margin

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