Skin cancer is a pretty common condition nowadays. Skin cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of skin cells. In a majority of cases, skin cancer occurs due to exposure of the skin to the sun. However, is it important to know that skin cancer can occur on parts of the skin which are not usually exposed to the sun as well. According to the experts, there are three main types of skin cancer. These types are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. There are lots of ways a person can reduce the risk of developing skin cancer but the best way is to either limit the exposure to ultraviolet radiation or avoid it completely.
Signs and symptoms of skin cancer types
When basal cell carcinoma is considered, it is important to know that this type of cancer attacks those parts of the body which are exposed to the sun, like face, ears and scalp. Someone who wishes to know what to look for if he or she suspects of basal cell carcinoma, he or she should look for a pearly or waxy bump, and a flat scar-like lesion which is either flesh or brown-colored.Squamous cell carcinoma is another skin cancer type which occurs on those parts of the body which are exposed to the sun. In most cases these parts are the face, lips, ears and hands. At the earliest stage this cancer type will look like a firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly or crusted surface. When first signs of melanoma skin cancer type are considered, it is important to know that this type of cancer can develop in any place on the body. An interesting thing is that this cancer type does not always appear in the same places in men and women. When men are considered, mainly the neck, trunk and head are affected, while in case of women lower legs are the most likely place on the body. Melanoma is known to develop in parts which are not exposed to the sun in both men and women. A large spot brown of color with little speckles darker in color, a mole which has changed color, size or the one that even bleeds, a small lesion with an irregular border and portions which may look red, white, blue or even blue-black and dark lesions on palms, soles and fingertips are the most commonly seen early signs of melanoma. When people with darker skin tone are considered, they are more likely to experience the development of melanoma on the palms, soles or even under the fingernails. Apart from these three main types of skin cancer, there are those which do not occur that often like Kaposi sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and sebaceous gland carcinoma.
Risk factors of skin cancer
Fair skin is the number one risk factor of skin cancer and a person with it needs to be extra careful when he or she is exposed to the sun. There is no skin color which cannot develop skin cancer but people with fair skin are more prone to it due to the lack of melanin. A person with a history of sunburns is more likely to develop skin cancer as well. Sunburns during childhood are especially dangerous. Those who spend a lot of time being exposed to sun increase the risk of getting skin cancer as well. This is why people need to wear sun protection if they are going to be exposed more than 15 minutes. Those who have a large number of moles or have moles of abnormal sizes need to be careful in the sun and watch the moles for any changes. According to the experts, skin cancer is genetic and those who have someone in the family who is diagnosed with skin cancer have more chance of developing it as well. In addition to these risk factors, there are some others like age, a weak immune system and exposure to certain substances such as arsenic for instance.
Apart from the regular treatment options for skin cancer such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, there are some other options which may help. Freezing is one of these options. The doctor may freeze an early skin cancer with liquid nitrogen and it will slough off. Excisional surgery is not used only in case of skin cancer but with all cancer types. This treatment involves the cutting of the cancerous tissue and a surrounding margin of healthy skin. Laser therapy is another option. The doctor will use a precise and intense beam in order to destroy any growths. This treatment option is good because the damage to the surrounding tissue and bleeding are minimal. Another reason why this procedure is good is because there will be no excessive loss of the healthy skin. Mohs surgery and biological therapy are an option as well. However, it is important to know that the risk of skin cancer can be reduced by avoiding excessive exposure to the sun and wearing sunscreen throughout the entire year.