Skin Cancer : Introduction
Skin cancer is the type of cancer which arises from the skin. Skin cancers arises because of the development of cells that have the capacity to invade other part of the body. There are basically three types of skin cancer – basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma. The first two types are less common skin cancer types and together they are known as non melanoma skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Globally at least there are 40% skin cancer cases. Out of which at least 80% are basal cell skin cancers and approximately 20% are squamous skin cell cancers.
Skin cancer : Causes
Following are some of the major causes of skin cancer :
- Ultraviolet Rays – Continuous exposure to ultraviolet rays is one of the biggest causes of skin cancer. If because of your work or even personal reasons you are constantly exposed to sun then there may be higher chance that you might suffer from skin cancer later in your life. People who are fair skinned with hazel or blue eyes and people with blond or red hair type are particularly vulnerable to skin cancer.
- If you have ever been detected with HIV/AIDS or you are taking some medications like prednisonen and chemotherapy for very long then you might be at a higher risk of skin cancer.
- Some sexual infections or urinary tract infections also causes skin cancer among individuals.
- Also, if once you are detected with skin cancer then there are higher chances that in future also you may be detected with skin cancer twice.
- Constant exposure to X rays or chemicals like arsenic increases the risk of skin cancer.
- Elderly patients also have a higher risk of getting infected with skin cancer.
- Genetics can also play a major role if you have pigmentation or skin disorders right from the beginning.
Skin cancer : Symptoms
Since there are different types of skin cancer, thus the symptoms also vary accordingly. Basel Skin cancers have quite few symptoms whereas squamous skin cancers have quit different and painful symptoms.
Both forms of skin cancers originate from a simple sore which can bleed or ooze but will not heal with time. They might be painless initially but soon you can see the pain will start appearing.
Some of the major signs and symptoms of basel skin cancer are as follows :
- A shiny pink, red or translucent bump appears
- Pink skin grows with raised borders in it’ surrounding areas.
- Reddish patch of the skin which appears at a height and it can come with some irritation or pain
- A white, yellow area which appears as a scar from a distant
Now, let’s have a look at some of the major signs and symptoms of squamous skin cell cancers :
- Persistent scaly red patches with irregular borders
- Open sore which stays for weeks
- Wart like growth which is painless
- Raised growth which has a rough surface
Skin cancer : Locations
There are some common places where skin cancers appears quite frequently. Generally these places are the ones which are more exposed to the sun area. Places like face, nose, ears, back of the neck and bald areas of scalp.
But skin cancer can also occur in areas which are less exposed to the sun like back or chest.
Skin cancer : Diagnosis
Physical diagnosis of the skin cancer is possible by skin biopsy. Other than this if you see a bump or mole on your skin which is not healing in a very long time then you must visit your doctor and go for a skin consultation session.