Skin Cancer Symptoms And Treatment

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is an ailment where skin cells are unable to divide and grow normally. Healthy skin cells generally divide in a particular manner and replace dead cells and develop new skin. Unusual cells can grow uncontrollably and create a lump or 'tumor'. When these abnormal cells develop in the skin, the mass is called a skin tumor.

A skin tumor is considered mild if it is confined to a few cell layers and does not transgress surrounding tissues or organs. But if the tumor disseminate to surrounding tissues it is termed as cancerous.

Cancer cells drift out and destroy surrounding healthy cells catapulting growths and forming malignant tumors.

Types of skin cancer

There are various types of skin cancers based on the kind of skin cell from which they arise. Each kind of human skin cancer displays its own unique appearance. Certain skin cancers are ought to grow in particular locations of the body.

  1. Basal cell carcinoma
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma
  3. Malignant melanoma is rare but is extremely dangerous.

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are termed as non-melanoma to bring them out from the relatively serious melanoma skin cancers.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. In UK more than 90 per cent of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinoma is considered as the least dangerous type of skin cancer. This is designated to it as grows slowly and seldom spreads. Out of 1,000 patients it spreads only in 1 patient.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma is serious because it spreads to important organs of the body. Spread is found in a few cases in almost every 100 cases. It spreads slowly. Initially cancer cells tend to spread only up to the nearest lymph nodes structures, where it is filtered and trapped. If it has spread, the infected lymph nodes are removed to cease the further spread of cancer to other vital organs.
  • Malignant Melanoma is the most intense kind of skin cancer because it often travels fast from the skin to the lymph nodes or blood, to internal vital organs.
Causes of Skin Cancer?

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation emitting from the sun is the major cause of skin cancer. Rays from the sun actually is a kind of radiation. It comprises of visible ray and other light that are not visible by the people. Invisible infrared radiation, for example, gives a hot feeling to the sunlight. UV is also invisible, and sunburn and sun tanning is caused by it.

Protracted exposure and contact with direct sun rays is the major cause of skin cancer. The main factor in the direct rays of sunlight is the UV radiation, which is also termed as Ultra violet rays. Hence most of the preventive measures against skin cancer recommend the avoidance of the UV rays.

UV rays damage DNA, the genetic component that makes genes. Genes control the development and overall wellness of skin cells. If the genetic damage is serious, a common skin cell may start growing in an uncontrolled and abnormally to cause cancer cells. UV can also cause sunburn, and other skin problems that make the skin appear prematurely sagged and wrinkled.

Two types of rays exist in ultraviolet radiation are:

  • Ultraviolet A (UVA)
  • Ultraviolet B (UVB)

It had been considered by the scientists that excessive exposure to UVB rays was the major reason of skin cancer. But now they are of this point view that UVA is also involved. That's why it is also recommended to apply a sunscreen cream that protective against both UVA and UVB rays.
However, there may be some cases of skin cancer which may be termed as chronic that run in families. In such cases, skin cancer is the reason of abnormal genes that children get from their parents. Genes make parents and children look somewhat identical. They also are likely to get some of the identical ailments.

Skin cancer is yet another general kind of cancer. As the name suggests, skin cancer is a cancerous situation of skin.

Since skin cancer is very closely related to skin pigmentation, the skin cancer is more likely to spread in fair skinned people as compared to the dark skinned persons.

Skin Cancer Treatment

Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma treatment is quite straightforward. Generally, surgical removal of the lesion is sufficient. Malignant Melanoma, although, may require more than one treatment methods, spanning surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Keeping in view the complexity of treatment, people with malignant melanoma may get advantage from the combined expertise of the dermatologist, a cancer surgeon.

Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells, curbing them from growing and multiplying is called radiation therapy. Like surgery, radiation therapy is a local remedy that affects cancer cells only in the applied area.

Chemotherapy is usually administered in frequent cycles. One treatment period is followed by a recuperation period, then again another treatment period, and it goes on. Usually a patient has to undertake chemotherapy as an outpatient in the clinic or hospital. However, depending on the kind of drugs given to the patient and patient's general health, the patient may have to get admitted in the hospital for a brief period of time.

Skin Cancer Protection

Protection against skin cancer is perhaps simpler than the protection against any other types of cancer. Still, a big number of people avoid it and fall pray to this dreaded disease. Here is a glossary of factors that can be considered as the protection from skin cancer:

Clothing: Since skin cancer is the result of prolonged exposure to UV rays with your skin, the best remedy is to avoid any such exposure. The more you cover your skin with clothing the least you are at risk of developing skin cancer. Full sleeved clothes, long skirts and pants, large hats/caps, high necks and so forth are all helpful in preventing skin cancer.

Sunscreen Lotion: There are a myriad of skin care products found in the markets that are quite effective protection against skin cancer. Sun screen lotions and creams with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or more are the most recommended protection to be used.

Avoid Exposure to UV Rays: This is the protection that can be considered as the best against skin cancer. If you can schedule your outdoor activities during those times when the UV rays are least affective, you are by default protected against UV rays. Thus going out either early in the mornings or later in the evenings is the best option out to protect yourself from the most dangerous UV ray.

Diet: Carotenoid vegetables and fruits are also recommended to enable prevent skin cancer.

A to Z Cancer Types