Skin Cancer – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Definition

Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. We know that our skin protects our body against heat, light, infection, and injury. It also stores water, fat, and vitamin D. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 1 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year.

Types of skin cancer- There are three major types of skin cancer:

  • basal cell carcinoma,
  • squamous cell carcinoma and
  • melanoma

Causes

Anyone can get skin cancer. Here I would like to suggest you that it is no matter what your skin type, race or age, no matter where you live or what you do, it can affect anybody. But your risk is greater if…

  • Your skin is fair and freckles easily.
  • You have light-colored hair and eyes.
  • You have a large number of moles, or moles of unusual size or shape.
  • You have a family history of skin cancer or a personal history of blistering sunburn.
  • You spend a lot of time working or playing outdoors.
  • You live closer to the equator, at a higher altitude, or in any place that gets intense, year-round sunshine.
  • You received therapeutic radiation treatments for adolescent acne.

Symptoms

Since we know that there are a variety of different skin cancers, then it means symptoms of skin cancer depend upon there types. These include sores or changes in the skin that do not heal, ulcers in the skin, discoloring in parts of the skin, and changes in existing moles. A central depression with crusting and bleeding (ulceration) frequently develops. Small blood vessels may be visible within the tumor.

Treatment

Surgery can be very successful in treating some kinds of skin cancer, but it isn’t an option for all people. If the cancer is in the form of a malignant tumor and the tumor is in one place (localized), then it may be possible to remove it by surgery.

Radiation is an another treatment choice, particularly for primary lesions requiring difficult or extensive surgery (e.g., eyelids, nose, ears). It eliminates the need for skin grafting when surgery would result in an extensive defect. Cosmetic results are generally good to excellent with a small amount of hypopigmentation or telangiectasia in the treatment port. Radiation therapy can also be used for lesions that recur after a primary surgical approach.

Another important treatment is an electric needle, which destroys any skin cancer cells. This simple, quick procedure is common in treating small or thin basal cell cancers. Scientists are studying skin cancer to find out more about how it develops. And they are looking for better ways to prevent and treat it.

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