Overview of skin cancer
Skin cancer often occurs on skin exposed to the sun. But this common type of cancer can also occur in areas of your skin that are not normally exposed to sunlight. There are three main types of cancer that are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
You can reduce the risk of developing cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer in its early stages. Early recognition of skin malignancy gives you the best possibility of effectively treating skin cancer.
What causes skin cancer?
Except in rare cases, most cancers arise from DNA mutations caused by ultraviolet light that affects skin cells. Many of these early cancers appear to be controlled by natural immune monitoring, which, when compromised, may allow clumps of malignant cells that begin to grow into tumours.
Not all skin cancers are identical, and many may not cause symptoms. However, unusual changes to your skin can be a warning sign for various types of cancer. Being aware of changes to your skin can help you get a diagnosis early.
- Skin lesions: A new mole appears, an unusual growth, a bump, a sore, a scaly spot, or a dark spot that does not go away.
- Asymmetry: The halves of the lesion or mole are not equal or identical.
- Limit: The lesions have jagged and uneven edges.
- Colour: The spot has an unusual colour, such as white, pink, black, blue, or red.
- Diameter: The spot is larger than a quarter of an inch, or the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolution: You can find that mole changes in size, colour, or shape.
If you develop suspicious spots or growths on your skin or notice changes in the spots or growths present, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will examine your skin or refer you to a specialist for a diagnosis. Your primary care physician or expert will probably inspect the shape, size, shading, and surface of the dubious territory on your skin. They will also check for scales, bleeding, or dry patches. If your doctor suspects it might be cancerous, he or she may perform a biopsy.
During this safe and simple procedure, they will remove the suspicious area or part of it to send it to the lab for testing. This can help them find out if you have skin cancer. If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, you may need additional tests to see how advanced it is. The treatment plan recommended will depend on the type and stage of your skin cancer, in addition to other factors.
How is skin cancer treated?
Treatment depends on the type of disease and how far it has spread. Therapy is individualized and controlled by the kind of skin cancer, its size, area, and the patient’s inclination.
Standard treatments include non-melanoma (basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma):
- Mohs surgery (for high-risk non-melanoma skin cancers): Excision of cancer with skin preservation with a complete evaluation of the peripheral and deep margin
- The exception
- Electrosurgery and curettage: Scraping the cancerous skin cells followed by electrosurgery
- Radiation therapy
- Medicines (chemotherapy and biological response modifiers to destroy cancer cells)
Include standard treatments for skin cancer:
- Large surgical excision
- Sentinel lymph node mapping (for deeper lesions): To determine whether the melanoma has spread to the local lymph nodes
- Medicines (chemotherapy, biological response modifiers)
- Radiation therapy
- New methods are sometimes used in clinical trials to treat skin cancer
You can reduce your risk of developing cancer by following these preventive tips:
- Utilize a sunscreen of at any rate 30 SPF consistently. Apply 15-30 minutes before going out.
- If you sweat a lot or swim, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
- Avoid the sun’s rays between peak hours, which are from 10 am to 4 pm. If you must be outside, wear sunglasses, hats, and light clothing that covers your skin.
- Do a skin self-examination at least once a month.
- Ask your doctor for an annual check-up of your skin.