By Nubello Hair Transplant & Cosmetic Surgery Center , Dermatology
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells which usually occur when your skin is exposed to the sun. However, it is also very common for skin cancer to develop on parts of the skin not exposed to the sun. The three main types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Like other forms of cancer, skin cancer cannot be cured, it can only be controlled. Here is everything you need to know about skin cancer:
Types and Symptoms-
There are two major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (the most common) and squamous cell carcinoma (the second most common). Melanoma is also a form of skin cancer but is far less common, though more dangerous, than the other two varieties.
The symptoms that you have skin cancer vary depending on what type of skin cancer you have…
a) Basal Cell Carcinoma (the most common)
There are only two symptoms of basal cell carcinoma. They are:
1. Waxy or pearly bump
2. A scar-like lesion which is brown or flesh-colored and flat.
3. Raised reddish patch of skin that may crust or itch, but is usually not painful
4. A white, yellow, or waxy area with a poorly defined border that may resemble a scar
b) Squamous Cell Carcinoma (the second most common)
1. A nodule which is firm and red
2. A scaly crusted lesion above a flat lesion
3. Open sore that does not go away for weeks
4. A wart-like growth
c) Melanoma (less common, more dangerous)
1. Dark speckles as well as a large brown spot
3. Dark Lesions
Causes and Risk Factors-
Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. This may be long-term exposure or short periods of overexposure. This is because ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun damages the DNA (genetic material) in our skin cells.
People who work outdoors have a greater risk of skin cancer as they are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Fair-skinned people have a greater risk than black- or brown-skinned people. This is because the pigment in darker skin gives protection.
Regularly using sunbeds and sunlamps can also increase the risk of developing some skin cancers.
Other risk factors include previous skin cancers, previous radiotherapy treatment, lowered immunity, overexposure to chemicals at work and rare genetic conditions.
To diagnose skin cancer, your doctor may perform these activities:
1. Skin Examination-
Usually, a skin examination is enough to diagnose whether you have skin cancer or not. However, sometimes more diagnosis needs to be done to determine whether you have skin cancer or a more benign condition.
2. Skin Biopsy-
A skin biopsy is also extremely helpful to determine whether you have skin cancer or not.