What is a skin cancer?
Skin cancer is characterized as the excessive growth of your skin cells. More specifically, there are 3 kinds of skin cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma.
Avoiding or limiting the UV radiation exposure can reduce the chances of developing skin cancer. In case you observe unusual changes in your skin, immediately consult your doctor, as detecting skin cancer at an initial stage can increase the success chances of its treatment.
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
Typically, skin cancer occurs on the skin areas that are more sun exposed such as hands, legs, arms, chest, neck, ears, lips, face and scalp. However, it can also develop on the areas which are rarely or not exposed to sunlight such as genital area, beneath the toenails or fingernails and palms. Skin cancer can target individuals of all skin tones.
Symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include:
The type mostly develops in the areas that are more sun exposed for example face or neck. It can appear as:
- Flat, brown or flesh colored, lesion.
- A waxy or pearly bump.
Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include:
The type usually occurs on the body areas more exposed to sun for example hands, ears and face. Individuals with darker skins have increasing chances of developing this particular type of skin cancer on their skin areas which are not sun exposed. Moreover, it can appear as:
- Flat lesion that have a crusted, scaly surface.
- A red, firm nodule.
Symptoms of melanoma include:
The type of skin cancer can occur anywhere, however it usually develops on the trunk or face of the affected individual. It strikes the skin which has not been sun exposed. People of all skin tones can develop melanoma. In individuals with darker skin tones; melanoma develops on the soles or palms, or under their toenails or fingernails.
It may appear as:
- Brownish, large spot that have darker speckles
- Small lesion that have irregular portions and border.
- Mole which changes in size, color or feel.
- Dark lesion on your anus or vagina, nose, mucous membranes, toes or fingertips, soles and palms.
What causes skin cancer?
Changes in the skin cells DNA causes skin cancer. (Such changes or errors are called mutations). This leads the abnormal growth of skin cells, which later results in accumulation of cancer cells.
Ultraviolet radiation causes greater extent of damage to the DNA of skin cells. However, this does not merely means that sunlight exposure is the only trigger of skin cancer. Few other factors also contribute in causing the disease, such as toxic substance exposure or a condition that can weaken your immune system.
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
Skin biopsy and physical examination of the skin serve as the basis to diagnose skin cancer. The doctor will conduct few more tests in order to find out the stage of cancer you are suffering from.
How is skin cancer treated?
The treatment tends to vary depending upon the location, depth, type and size of lesions. Few treatment options include:
- Excisional surgery.
- Mohs surgery.
- Curettage and electrodesiccation.
- Radiation therapy.
- Photodynamic therapy.
- Biological therapy,
By : Natural Health News