WHAT IS SKIN CANCER?
Skin cancer is defined as the abnormal growth of skin cells. Skin cancer normally develops on the skin exposed to the sun. But this type of malignancy can likewise occur on areas of your skin not conventionally presented to sunlight. By limiting or avoiding the exposure to ultraviolet radiation, you can reduce the risk of skin cancer.
You can lessen the danger of this skin malignancy by constraining or maintaining a strategic distance from presentation to ultraviolet radiation. Checking your skin for suspicious changes can help recognize skin disease at its most punctual stages. Early identification of skin malignant growth gives you the best possibility for effective skin disease treatment.
WHERE IS THE MOST COMMON PLACE TO GET SKIN CANCER?
Skin malignancy normally develops on the areas of sun-exposed skin, including face, scalp, ears, neck, lips, chest, hands, arms and on the legs in women.
But it may also develop on the areas that rarely see the daylight such as; palms, genital area, etc. It can affects the people of all skin tones, including the individuals having darker complexions.
When a cancer, called melanoma occurs in people with dark skin tones, it is more likely to occur in the body areas not normally exposed to the sunlight.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SKIN CANCER?
Three main skin cancers are —
1. Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Basal-cell carcinoma (BCC) Skin Cancer is the most common type of skin malignancy. It is also known as basal-cell cancer. The growth of basal-cell carcinoma cancer is steady, but it can damage the tissues around it.
This skin malignancy is unlikely to spread to distant areas or to result in death. Exposure to Ultraviolet radiation during childhood is particularly harmful.
Risk factors of Basal-cell carcinoma (BCC) cancer may include —
- Poor immune-system function
- Having lighter skin
- Radiation therapy
- Exposure to ultraviolet light
- Long-term exposure to arsenic
2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
It is also known as epidermoid carcinomas, the second most common form of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cancer is the result of an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising from the squamous cells in epidermis, which is the outermost layer of human skin.
It can spread to the bones, tissues and nearby lymph nodes, where it may become hard to treat. When caught early, it’s easy to treat.
Melanoma skin cancer is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is also known as malignant melanoma. Melanoma skin cancer develops from pigment-containing cells, called as melanocytes.
Melanoma cancer rarely occurs in the mouth, eyes or intestines. In men, it most commonly occurs on the back, while in women, it normally occurs on the legs.
Sometimes malignant melanoma cancer develops from a mole with changes such as irregular edges, an increase in size, change in color, skin breakdown or itchiness.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SKIN CANCER?
Basal Cell Carcinoma Signs and Symptoms:
Basal cell carcinoma skin cancer usually occurs in body areas that are exposed to sunlight. A basal cell carcinoma skin cancer symptoms include —
- A flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion
- A pearly or waxy bump
- Bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and returns
This type of skin cancer may also appear as a painless raised area of skin, which may be shiny with small blood vessels running over it.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Signs and Symptoms:
Most often, this type of skin cancer occurs on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as face, hands or ears. Individuals having dark complexion are more likely to develop this cancer on areas that aren’t often exposed to the sun.
Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as —
- A firm, red nodule
- A red or scaly patch of skin
- Dome-shaped bump
- A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
Melanoma Signs and Symptoms:
Melanoma cancer signs and symptoms include —
- A large brownish spot with darker speckles
- A mole that changes in size and color
- A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, white, pink, blue or blue-black
- A painful lesion that itches or burns
- Dark lesions on your palms, fingertips or toes, soles, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus
- Sores that do not heal
- Itchiness, tenderness or pain
- Changes in texture, or scales, oozing or bleeding from an existing mole
- Blurry vision or partial loss of sight, or dark spots in the iris
HOW CAN I PREVENT SKIN CANCER?
Most skin cancers are preventable. To protect yourself from skin cancer, you need to follow these skin cancer prevention tips —
I) Seek The Shade Sun’s rays are strongest especially between 10 AM and 4 PM. Schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day (if possible).
II) Don’t Get Sunburned.
III) Avoid Tanning And Never Use UV Tanning Beds.
IV) Wear Protective Clothing.
Sunscreens don’t provide the complete protection from Ultraviolet rays. So you need to cover up your skin with dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs. Also, you can wear full sleeve shirt, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Many companies also sell photo-protective clothings.
V) Use A Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) Sunscreen.
Sunscreens don’t filter out all harmful Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, especially the radiation that can lead to melanoma cancer. But, they play a major role in an overall sun protection program. You need to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days.
Use a great amount of sunscreen on all exposed skin, including your lips, the tips of your ears, and the backs of your hands and neck. You can use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
VI) Keep Newborns Out Of The Sun.
Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of 6 months.
VII) Examine Your Skin. head-to-toe every month.
VIII) See A Dermatologist At Least Once A Year.
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