Friday, April 20, 2012

What Is Skin Cancer

What Is Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is also known as skin neoplasms. Technically, they are defined as skin growths that involve various causes and differing levels of malignancy. Skin cancers can possibly be diagnosed at an early stage since they progress in the outermost layer of the skin or the epidermis, making the tumor visible. Compared with those suffering from other forms of cancers, such as lung cancer, and cancers in the pancreas and stomach, the number of patients who died due to skin cancer is relatively smaller; however, it can cause disfigurement. Among the several kinds of cancer, skin cancer is the most usually diagnosed. 

Skin cancers are classified into three types: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. In the first type, the tumour can be seen in the ears, the face, mouth and other parts of the body which are usually exposed to the sun. Its common symptoms are a bump that becomes an open sore, gets larger and a sore that won’t improve. The second type of skin cancer is normally detected on specific areas of the body like the face, neck and hands.

Although it’s noted to be the most commonly developed skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma has the highest chance of being treated, plus it doesn’t usually advance further to other areas of the body. An oozing or bleeding sore, irritated red spots, a yellow or white part that looks like a scar and a pink pearly bump are just some of the symptoms that a person with this kind of skin cancer will experience. Considered as the most deadly kind of skin cancer, melanoma can grow anywhere in the body, normally in the arms, legs and trunk. Symptoms like a mole, freckle or new/existing spot that alters colour in size, shape and color are often associated with melanoma. 

As per the National Cancer Institute (NCI), more than one million individuals in the United States are positive with skin cancer every year. But, NCI has further stated that this illness can be totally treated provided that it’s detected and cared for at an early stage. Several researches have concluded that the main factor that could lead to skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It can either be UVA or UVB. Other counterfeit forms of UV radiation, such as sunlamps and tanning booths, can also trigger the development of skin cancer. 

Generally, there are four major types of treatment that physicians may apply for those skin cancer patients. These are the following:

Certain surgical procedures are found to be useful in treating non-melanoma skin cancer. These include: Mohs micrographic surgery, simple excision, shave excision, electrodesiccation and curettage, cryosurgery, laser surgery and dermabrasion

Radiation therapy
High-energy x-rays or other kinds of radiation are used in this cancer treatment in order to either kill the cancer cells or prevent them from developing.

It utilizes drugs to prevent the rise of cancer cells.

Photodynamic therapy
It kills cancer cells by using drug and a certain kind of laser light.

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