What is skin cancer? Types, Causes and Treatment

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skin cancer - Types, Causes and Treatment
skin cancer - Types, Causes and Treatment

Abnormal skin cells cause skin cancer. New skin cells form while old ones perish. Cells grow faster when this mechanism fails, such as after sun exposure. These cells may be harmless (benign). Or malignant.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer can spread if not caught early. Most skin cancers are curable if caught early. If you suspect skin cancer, consult your doctor.

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Types of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are the most prevalent skin cancers. These subtypes can be differentiated further. Each type is explained briefly:

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC):

BCC is the most common skin cancer. Sun exposure causes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) on the face, neck, and hands. It often appears as a white mass with blood vessels. BCC grows slowly and seldom spreads to other parts of the body, but it should still be treated and removed to prevent damage.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC):

SCC is the second most common skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma. It is particularly frequent in sun-exposed areas, but it can appear everywhere. SCC usually appears as a red, scaly patch or a non-healing wound. It may grow faster than BCC and feel delicate. SCC is more likely than BCC to spread to other regions of the body, requiring more rigorous treatment.

Melanoma:

Normal skin cells or moles can cause melanoma, a more aggressive skin cancer. Any skin cell can develop melanoma. It can appear anywhere on the body, including in shaded areas. Melanoma often appears as a mole or black spot that changes size, color, or texture. Melanoma can spread elsewhere. Early detection and treatment is crucial for better results because it can spread.

Merkel cell carcinoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and various lymphomas are rare skin cancers that should be considered. These tumors can strike anywhere. The three most frequent kinds of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. If your skin changes, see a doctor. This ensures accurate examination and diagnosis.

What causes the Skin cancer?

Sunburn and blistering are the main risk factors for skin cancer. Sunlight damages skin DNA, causing aberrant cells. These abnormal cells divide swiftly and unorganizedly, becoming a mass of cancer cells.

Skin cancer’s causes:

Everyone can get skin cancer. However, certain groups are more aware. Women and AFABs under 50 are more likely to get skin cancer. Men and AMABs are more likely to be affected after 50. This disorder affects non-Hispanic white people 30 times more than black or Asian or Pacific Islander persons. Darker skinned people are more likely to have skin cancer discovered late. Treatment becomes harder.

Everyone can acquire skin cancer, but several factors increase your risk.

  • Work and play outside in the sun.
  • Be prone to sunburns.
  • Live in a sunny, high-altitude climate.
  • Use tanning beds.
  • Have bright eyes, blond or red hair, and freckled skin.
  • Have many irregular moles.
  • Have hard, scaly, dark pink-to-brown Actinic keratosis, precancerous skin growths.
  • Family history of skin cancer increases risk.
  • Organ transplanted.
  • Drugs can depress your immune system.
  • Have treated eczema or psoriasis with UV light.

Skin cancer symptoms

A new growth or change in a mole or growth is the most common symptom of skin cancer. Skin cancer symptoms:

  • New mole. A mole that changes size, shape, color, or bleeding.
  • A glossy or waxy lump.
  • Flat, pink/red/brown bump.
  • Skin scars.
  • Crusty, depressed, or bleeding sores.
  • Unhealed or recurring wounds.
  • A crusty, itchy, scaly lesion.

Skin cancer treatment

Cancer stage determines treatment. If the malignancy is tiny and skin-confined, a biopsy may remove it altogether. Skin cancer therapies include:

  • Photodynamic therapy: Your dermatologist applies medication and activates it with blue or red fluorescent light. This technique kills precancerous cells, but spares normal cells.
  • Radiation therapy:  Your radiation oncologist uses intense beams of energy to kill or stop cancer cells from multiplying.
  • Immunotherapy:  Your oncologist prescribes drugs to teach your immune system to fight cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy kills cancer cells. If your cancer is limited to the top layer of your skin, you can use topical chemotherapy. If it has spread, you can take pills or an IV.
  • Excisional surgery: Your dermatologist removes the tumor and some good skin to ensure cancer is gone.
  • Mohs surgery: Your dermatologist removes only sick tissue, conserving as much normal tissue as possible. This treats basal cell and squamous cell cancers and other skin malignancies near sensitive or cosmetically important areas such your eyelids, ears, lips, forehead, scalp, fingers, or genital area.
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation: Your dermatologist scrapes cancer cells of the tumor with a sharp, looping device. Then, an electric needle kills any leftover cancer cells. This is widely use to treat basal cell, squamous cell, and precancerous skin lesions.

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