Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells, Skin is the largest organ of the human body and works as a defense system to the internal body. The skin protects the inner body from direct exposure to the environment. Also helps in the excretion of toxic radicals from the body. When cancer appears in the skin cells, the function of the skin cells is impaired, and the patient is at higher risk for infections and environmental toxic effects.
Types of Skin Cancer:
skin cancer has the following three classes.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer: It is not necessary that every skin change will be cancerous However, the following warning symptoms should be consulted with the dermatologist.
Change in size of any Birth Mole: Consult with your dermatologist if you have any change in the preexisting birthmark or sudden appearance of a new skin mark change with another skin color.
Bleeding or Ulceration: If you notice any bleeding or oozing from a mole, consult with your dermatologist.
Itching Mole: Itching moles should be checked properly.
Unhealing Sores: Skin sores that are not healing should be checked with a dermatologist.
Skin Pigmentations: Skin pigmentations that are spreading very quickly must be checked with your dermatologist.
There are several causes and risk factors for skin cancer. Following are some factors that may lead to skin cancer.
Light and Fair Skin: People with sunshine and fair skin, fair, light hair color and eye color are at high risk for developing skin cancer. The reason behind it is these people have less amount of melatonin in their bodies, which protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
Family History: A person with a positive family history is at high risk of developing skin cancer.
Exposure to Ultraviolet Rays: People with strong exposure to ultraviolet rays are at high risk. The source of ultraviolet rays is the sun and other artificial sources.
People with weakened immune systems: People with weak immune systems like patients of organ transplants or patients with autoimmune diseases are at greater risk. These patients are on immunosuppressive treatment. These medications make the skin more sensitive, and thin and weaken the immunity of the patient.
People with Birthmarks or Moles: Some birthmarks and atypical moles can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Exposure to Carcinogens. People who work or deal with cytotoxic pesticides or chemicals containing carcinogens are at greater risk of developing skin cancer
How Skin Cancer is Diagnosed?
Self-Skin Examination: Self-examination is a very important step in the early diagnosis of skin cancer. Inspect your skin on a regular basis. Examine the body areas that are even not exposed to the sun. Notice any change in color, texture, shape, and size of a pre-existing mole, and also look for a new mole.
Medical and Social History:
Moreover, your doctor will take a detailed history of your health and experiences symptoms. Your doctor can also ask you about the nature of your job.
Furthermore, you may be asking about cancer history in your close family members.
This is done through a device by which your dermatologist will examine the skin deeply by using advice called a dermatoscope, which magnifies the skin so the doctor can examine the skin deeply and make a suspected diagnosis.
A small piece of skin or suspected area is taken for an exact medical diagnosis. On the basis of biopsy type of skin cancer is also identified.
CT scan/ Magnetic resonance image.
Furthermore, a CT scan or MRI shows the extent of the disease. Moreover, It also helps in the staging of skin cancer.
Surgery: However, the tumor or cancerous mole is removed carefully by incision and curettage. Furthermore, Surgery is the best treatment/option for skin cancer. Skin surgery has many types.
Chemotherapy: In this therapy, cytotoxic medications are used to kill cancer cells. In skin cancer, Moreover, these drugs may be in the form of injections, pills, topical creams, or in the form of ointment.
Radiation Therapy: High beams of X-rays are directed toward the area containing cancerous cells to destroy them.
Targeted therapy. Medications in this therapy identify the specific cancer cells. These drugs interfere with the growth of cancer cells and inhibit their growth. Medications in targeted therapy have minor side effects on other normal cells.
Immunotherapy: The drug used in this therapy boosts the patient’s immunity. Thus the strong immune system of the patient identifies the cancer cells attacks them and kills them.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): In this therapy, photosensitizing agents are applied to the skin. The skin is then exposed to light. Reactions occur between light and photosensitizing agents and destroy cancer cells.
Prevention from getting Skin Cancer:
Skin cancer is mainly prevented by care of the skin. Following are some tips that may help in preventing skin cancer.
- Avoid Strong Sun Exposure: Avoid substantial sun exposure by applying a qualitative sunblock to naked areas like the face, neck, and arms in the case of sleeveless dresses. Sun rays are powerful in high altitudes, so proper clothing covers all body parts.
- Avoid Black Dresses: Researchers suggested that black or darker dresses or clothes absorb more sun rays. So avoid black clothing in
- Use White Cloths: Researchers recommend using white and light-colored clothes that reflect sun rays.
- Personal Protective Equipment: Use gloves, eye shields, gowns, and face masks while handling strong chemicals like anti-cancer medications or pesticides or insecticides.
- Maintain Good Hydration: Drinking more fluids, juices or water keeps skin fresh and hydrated. A Well-hydrated skin excretes free radicals via sweat very easily which may reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Be Cautious Near Reflective Surfaces: Reflective surfaces like water, sand, and snow reflect more ultraviolet rays. Be more careful while sitting near these surfaces.
- Self-examination: Do a regular self-skin examination, any suspicious mole or change in skin color or texture must be consulted with a dermatologist.
- Protect Children from Sun Rays: Children’s skin is susceptible and may be easily affected by strong sun exposure. So keep children in shades, and use sunscreen and sunblock outdoors.
However, skin protection is very necessary for protecting skin from ultraviolet radiation. Self-examination is the first step in identifying skin cancer. Moreover, a healthy lifestyle is also essential for protecting the skin.