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Spiradenoma is a type of skin condition that causes benign tumors to develop and usually is associated with the sweat glands. These tumors typically develop only in adults, although it is possible for spiradenoma to affect anyone at any age. In most cases, only one nodule is present, although multiple lesions might appear in some cases. The head, neck, scalp and trunk are the most common locations for these frequently painful tumors. Surgical intervention might be used to remove extremely painful lesions, although no medical treatment is necessary in many cases.
In most cases of spiradenoma, there is a singular lesion that develops on the head, neck or scalp. The trunk of the body might sometimes be affected, and tumors on the arms and legs are extremely rare. The lesions rarely grow larger than 0.4 inches (1 cm) in size, although the shape and number of lesions that are present can vary. Many people who have this skin disorder will not experience any discomfort, although mild to moderate pain might sometimes occur. Pain medications typically are not prescribed, even when the lesions cause a considerable amount of discomfort to the patient.
Although the tumors associated with spiradenoma are almost always benign when they appear, lesions that remain for a prolonged period of time might sometimes become malignant. A small sample of tissue, known as a biopsy, might be taken to determine whether the growths contain cancerous cells. Some doctors might prefer to remove the nodules, even if they are benign, in an effort to prevent cancer from occurring.
It is extremely rare for spiradenoma to recur after all of the nodules have been removed. Large tumors, or a group of spiradenoma nodules, might sometimes be treated with the use of carbon dioxide laser therapy. Specialized surgical scissors can then be used to debulk the tumor.
If the spiradenoma tumor becomes cancerous, more intensive treatment might be needed in addition to surgery aimed at removing the growth. Chemotherapy involves the use of medications that contain strong chemicals designed to destroy cancer cells, and radiation treatment involves the use of high levels of radiation to treat the cancer. These methods of cancer treatment might be used alone or in combination with one another. There are significant side effects associated with these treatment methods, including extreme nausea, vomiting and hair loss. The doctor can help the patient choose the most appropriate method of treatment in an individual situation and might be able to prescribe additional medications to combat any negative side effects associated with treatment.