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Skin cancers, as the name implies, are cancer that affects the skin. They occur as a result of an abnormal development of the cells. These abnormal cells have the ability to spread from their origin and invade other parts of the body. Most skin cancers originate from the cells of the epidermis before the metastasize to other parts of the body. The majority of skin cancers are deadly and will lead to death if not well managed. Here are 20 warning signs of skin cancer you shouldn’t ignore. There are 3 major types of skin cancer. They include

The first two types of skin cancer, are jointly referred to as non-melanoma skin cancer, while the third one is known as melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is capable of growing, and destroying the cells and tissues around it, however, they rarely spread from their origin to other parts of the body. They do present as a painless elevation of the skin, with tiny blood vessels running over it. They sometimes present as an ulcer. Squamous-cell carcinoma is another type of skin cancer. It usually presents as a hard lump, that looks scaly, and can also develop into an ulcer. Lastly, melanomas are usually the most life-threatening, and aggressive, out of all the types of cancer. Some of the signs and symptoms of this skin cancer include the appearance of a mole on the kin, that has irregular edges, with many colors, and bleeds.

Skin cancer can be caused by many things. However, one of the factors that lead to the development of this disease includes ultraviolet radiation. People that expose themselves to a high dose of ultraviolet radiation, without wearing sunscreen are at a high risk of developing skin cancer, including malignant melanoma. A tanning bed is also a common source of high dosage of ultraviolet radiation. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent cancer in the world. According to statistics, skin cancer is responsible for about 40% of all cancer cases.

 

What Are The Types Of Skin Cancer?

 

There are 3 types of skin cancer. These are;

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

 

Squamous cell carcinoma is also known as epidermoid carcinoma. It develops from the abnormal growth of the squamous cells of the skin. It usually develops in the squamous cells of the outer and middle layer of the skin. It is one of the most common causes of skin cancer. It mostly occurs in parts of the skin that has been injured by Ultra-violet rays. Avoiding an exposure to a high dosage of Ultra-violet rays helps to reduce the risk of having squamous cell carcinoma.  Areas commonly exposed to the sun include the neck, arms, legs head, hands and so on. This disease is a progressive type of cancer, that grows slowly over time. It also has the ability to spread to other tissues of the body. Common areas affected by the disease include the bones, tissues, and surrounding lymph nodes. There are some factors that increase the chances of developing this disease. Some of the factors include old age, gender, type of skin, exposure to sunlight and so on. This cancer becomes difficult to treat when it starts metastasizing. The prognosis of the disease is always better when diagnosed early. There are some factors that predispose people to develop this disease. Some of these factors include old age, gender, lightness of skin, exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays, heredity, infection and so on.

 

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what are the causes of squamous cell carcinoma

What Are The Causes Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

 

Squamous cell carcinoma affects areas of the skin that is exposed to the sun for a long period of time. Some of the factors that increase the chances of developing this disease include sunlight and immunosuppression. These two factors contribute the most to the risk of having the disease. The risk of metastasis begins to increase ten years after the diagnosis of the disease. A large fraction of the squamous cell carcinoma affects the skin, such as the neck, hands, arm, and face. The squamous cell carcinoma has a huge risk of metastasis as compared to basal cell carcinoma

  1. Immunosuppression: This occurs mostly in people that had just received organ transplants. This is because, this kind of people are given drugs that would suppress their immune system, to prevent cases of rejection. This increases their risk of having squamous cell carcinoma. Those most affected by this disease are patients that had undergone heart and lung transplants, because of the high dosage of immunosuppressive medications they usually take.

 

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

 

Squamous cell carcinoma usually starts as a dome-shaped elevation on the skin. This skin elevation is usually rough and crusty. The big sized ones might be painful and itchy. Below are the other signs and symptoms of the disease;

    • A red ulcer or plaque that grows slowly.
    • The lesion caused by this cancer is sometimes asymptomatic
    • Frequent bleeding from a tumor, especially after it has been scrapped.
    • The ulcer usually has rough edges, with hard lesions.
    • The skin cancer might appear in the form of a hard plaque, but with vessels.
    • The tumor sometimes can be found just below the skin, which would eventually ulcerate and invade the surrounding tissues.
    • This tumor mostly develops in the areas that are exposed to the sun, such s the neck, hands, arms, head, and so on.
    • It often forms an ulcer on the lip that doesn’t heal and then bleeds regularly.

 

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How Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Diagnosed?

 

You should consult a dermatologist if you observe any strange growth on your skin. Dermatologists are trained doctors, that specializes in anything associated with the skin. In addition, those with a family history of the disease should do regular check-ups. The prognosis of this disease is better when diagnosed early. The doctor would perform a physical examination of the patient, to check the size, color, shape, and texture of the growth or mole. The dermatologist would also check other parts of the body, to ensure there are no other growths. Eventually, the doctor would take a sample of the growth for biopsy. This would be sent to the laboratory for testing.

 

How To Protect Yourself From Developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

 

Below are some of the ways to protect yourself from developing squamous cell carcinoma;

  • Protect your skin from excess sunlight radiation.
  • Don’t expose your skin to high dosage of ultraviolet
  • Avoid tanning beds,
  • Wear clothing to cover your body when the sun is scorching to help prevent skin cancer.

 

Treatment Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

 

This disease is one that can be treated in the office of your dermatologist. It’s usually a minor surgery, however, this depends on the size, location, and severity of the condition. Below are some of the procedures your doctor might decide to use

  1. Excision: This is the process whereby a cosmetic dermatologist cuts out the cancer spot and some of the healthy skin that surrounds it.
  2. Surgery: The dermatologist uses a small hand tool, and an electronic needle to eliminate the cancer cells.
  3. Mohs surgery: This is the procedure in which the dermatologist excises the growth, and the evaluates the excised part under a microscope.
  4. Dermabrasion: This is also referred to as “sanding”. Here, the dermatologist sands the affected part of the skin, with a tool. This is more of like scraping off the growth, to give way for a new layer of skin.
  5. Cryosurgery: This is the process of using cold temperature to treat the disease. The affected part of the skin is frozen with the use of liquid nitrogen.
  6. Topical chemotherapy: This is the process whereby cream is applied to the skin.
  7. Medication: There are some drugs that are used specifically for the treatment of this type of condition.

 

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basal cell carcinoma, what causes basal cell carcinoma, dermatologist near me

 

Basal Cell Carcinoma

 

Basal cell carcinoma is the type of skin cancer that develops on parts of the body that receives exposure to the sun. It is one of the most predominant types of skin cancer and presents as a painless disorder of the skin. The affected area of the skin is usually raised and shiny with tiny blood vessels over it. This might also present as a skin ulcer. This disease is a slow and progressive and has the ability to damage the surrounding tissues. Basal cell carcinoma is unlikely to spread from its place of origin to distant parts of the body. It doesn’t have the ability to migrate to distant parts of the body or result in death. There are some factors that increase the chances of developing this disease. Some of these factors include ultraviolet rays, people with lighter skin, prolonged exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, and a weak or poor immune system. Another growing factor that could increase the chances of developing this disease is tanning beds. These are beds, that people utilize to achieve a darker skin tone. This disease can be diagnosed through different means. Some of these include by physical examination and also confirming the diagnosis by performing a tissue biopsy of the affected region. Some of the ways of preventing and protecting yourself against this disease are by making use of sunscreen. This acts as a protection of the skin against excess ultraviolet rays. The methods of treatment of basal cell carcinoma include the application of cold, topical chemotherapy, laser surgery and so on. Targeted therapy and chemotherapy have also proved effective, especially on rare occasions where the disease has spread to distant parts of the body.

 

What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

 

Basal cell carcinoma usually appears different, when compared to the skin. They are dome shaped and have blood vessels in them. They can present in different colors, such as brown, black, and pink. They might also appear waxy and fragile. Basal cell carcinoma growths tends to bleed easily.

 

 What Are the Causes Of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

 

Basal cell carcinoma is caused by the excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiations from the sun. It could also be as a result of the prolonged use of a tanning bed. When the skin is exposed to a high dose of ultraviolet rays for a long period of time, this might cause some alterations in the DNA of the skin cells. This might lead to the development of cancer over a period of time. Although, this process might take a long number of years before it occurs.

 

Treatment Of Basal Cell Carcinoma?

 

The goal of the dermatologist is to leave as little scar as possible when treating this skin condition. The physician would take into account the overall effect of the procedure, and also the aesthetics, post-surgery. This disease is one that can be treated in the office of your dermatologist. It’s usually a minor surgery, however, this depends on the size, location, and severity of the condition.

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Below are some of the procedures your doctor might decide to use;

  • Excision: This is the process whereby the doctor cuts out the cancer spot and some of the healthy skin that surrounds it
  • Cryosurgery: This is the process of using cold temperature to treat the disease. The affected part of the skin is frozen with the use of liquid nitrogen.
  • Topical chemotherapy: This is the process whereby cream is applied to the skin.
  • Medication: There are some drugs that are used specifically for the treatment of this type of condition.
  • Mohs surgery: This is the procedure in which the dermatologist excises the growth, and the evaluates the excised part under a microscope.
  • Dermabrasion: This is also referred to as “sanding”. Here, the dermatologist sands the affected part of the skin, with a tool. This is more of like scraping off the growth, to give way for a new layer of skin.
  • Creams: There are some cream and pills that dermatologist can administer for the treatment of this disease. An example of such cream includes fluorouracil and imiquimod. They can be applied for weeks before the effects would be seen. Another medication usually prescribed is Erivedge, which is used to prevent the growth from spreading to other parts of the body.

 

Ways To Protect Your Skin From Developing Basal Cell Carcinoma

  1. Check your skin regularly for any kind of growth: Some signs of skin cancer include a change in color of a part of the skin, a growth or bleeding. You can make use of a mirror in examining your skin.
  2. Cover the exposed part of your skin, especially when the sun is scorching.
  3. Make use of sunscreen and cream.

 Melanoma And Stem Cell Therapy

 

Melanoma, also is known as malignant melanoma, is a cancerous tumor growth that can develop on any part of the body. This growth usually has pigment-containing cells also referred to as melanocytes. This can be found typically on the skin. Although it can occur in other places like the mouth, eyes and the intestines, this is a rare occurrence. They can also grow in extremities, such as the legs of women, and on the back of men. The most common cause of melanoma is the prolonged exposure to ultra-violet radiations, especially in people with low skin pigments. It’s important to know that these radiations can be from the sun, and can also be from artificial sources, such as tanning machines. Another cause of melanoma is the development of moles. People with a lot of moles on their body, coupled with a family history of melanoma, and a weak immune system have a high risk of having melanoma. However, there are several ways of protecting yourself from having this disease. Some of the things that can be done to prevent this disease are the use of sunscreen and staying away from excess and prolonged exposure to Ultra-violet radiations. This disease is usually treated by surgery. Although, people with large melanomas might be tested, to check for any possibility of metastasis to nearby lymph nodes. The prognosis is generally good if there is no metastasis, however, in those that have experienced metastasis, serious treatment procedure has to be done. For example, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiotherapy might be used to improve the chances of survival of the patient. Melanoma is the most lethal type of skin cancer. This disease is more common in women than in men.

 

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What Are The Causes Of Melanoma?

 

Melanoma occurs as a result of a damage to the DNA. This is due to the prolonged exposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiations. Another factor that increases the risk of developing this skin disorder is immunosuppression.

  1. Ultraviolet Radiation: People who make use of tanning beds have a high risk of developing this disease. This is why this disease is prevalent on the back of men, and on the legs of women.
  2. Heredity: It has been shown that mutations or a complete loss of tumor suppressor gene can lead to the development of this disease. People who lack this gene have a high risk of developing melanoma.
  3. Immunosuppression: People with a weakened immune system are at risk of developing melanoma.
  4. Sunburns: People with multiple severe sunburns, have a high risk of developing melanoma in the future. The closer one lives to the equator, the more the exposure to radiation.Fortunately, if you have suffered the effects of too much sun, your dermatologist has many anti aging methods that can erase years from your face, making you look younger.

 

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Melanoma?

 

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. It exists in different shapes and colors. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of melanoma;

This medical condition can occur in any part of the body, although it has a predilection for the skin. Parts exposed to the sun, have a possibility of being affected by melanoma. However, this disease can also occur in parts that don’t receive as much sun exposure. Example of such places include the feet, sole, fingernail, and even the palms of the hand. The earliest sign and symptom of the hands are;

The other early signs of this disease include;

  • Asymmetry: Melanoma is usually asymmetrical.
  • Borders: The growth typically has irregular edges and uneven corners.
  • Colour: They might also present different colors. They don’t usually exist in one color.
  • Diameter: The diameter of the growth is usually greater than 6mm, and might be as big as the size of an eraser.
  • Progression: Melanoma grows over time. It’s usually not static, but it keeps evolving.

There is the nodular melanoma, which is the most severe and life-threatening form of melanoma. This type of melanoma usually grows above the skin surface, and it’s rigid in texture, and firm to touch. Also, it keeps evolving and growing. If you notice any changes in a mole, please see your dermatologist and catch the problem before it becomes a bigger one.

 

What Is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

 

Dermatologists use the Mohs micrographic surgery for the treatment of skin cancer. It is considered one of the most effective ways of treating skin cancer. The purpose of this type of surgery is to extract and eliminate the growth from the skin while saving as much healthy tissue as possible. The different layers of skin are removed and viewed under the microscope until all the cancer tissues have been removed. The Mohs micrographic surgery significantly reduces any need for surgery or treatments in the future.

 

Can You Have Mohs Surgery For Melanoma?

 

Mohs surgery is being used more as an alternative to standard excision for some types of melanoma. As earlier, the layers of the skin are excised and examined under the microscope for the presence of cancer tissues and cells, until they’re all removed. However, this procedure is most commonly used for the treatment of basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Many dermatologists accept medicaid and other insurance for skin cancer treatment.

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How Is Mohs Surgery Performed?

 

The Mohs surgery is performed in the operating room, that has a laboratory. This enables the surgeon to examine the tissues under the microscope, once removed. This procedure usually lasts for an average of four hours, and the patient can return home the same day. The surgeon would remove parts of the cancer growth that can be seen with a scalpel, then put on a temporary badge, before it’s taken to the laboratory for evaluation. Analyzing the tissues might take some hours, but excising them from the skin takes just minutes.

Your dermatologist can also treat:

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References

LARSON, M. and TAYLOR, R. (2004). Monitoring Vital Signs during Outpatient Mohs and Post-Mohs Reconstructive Surgery Performed under Local Anesthesia. Dermatologic Surgery, 30(5), pp.777-783.

Monheit, G. (2013). Commentary: Mohs Micrographic Surgery Concordance Between Mohs Surgeons and Dermatopathologists. Dermatologic Surgery, 39(11), pp.1652-1653.

Semkova, K., Mallipeddi, R., Robson, A. and Palamaras, I. (2013). Mohs Micrographic Surgery Concordance Between Mohs Surgeons and Dermatopathologists. Dermatologic Surgery, 39(11), pp.1648-1652.