What is Skin Cancer? Screening Skin Cancer and Treatment

Skin cancer is one of the most common diseases affecting millions of folks globally. On-time detection, & its successful treatment can help from infecting further skin cells. 


According to MedicineNet, - 'Chances of getting skin cancer post its successful treatment is around 1-2% when done via Moth Surgery. Also, the same chances eliminate to 10-15% when done via curettage & electrodesiccation.'

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Let's learn today what all symptoms, causes, and treatments are available for skin cancer. 


'skincancer.org,' U.S. Stats on Skin Cancer 


  • Every 1 out of 5th people develops Skin Cancer by the age they reach 70, according to 'skincancer.org.'
  • According to skincancer.org, 'In the U.S., 2 people expire after every 1 hour because of Skin cancer.' 
  • 9500+ folks are detected with skin cancer in the U.S. daily.
  • Skin cancer disease when detected at an early stage, the survival rate (5 years) due to melanoma comes to 99%. 
  • More than 5 sunburns on your skin, generally enhance the risk of melanoma.
  • Every year, almost 3.6 million folks in the U.S. are diagnosed with BCC - Basal cell carcinoma skin cancer, and 1.8 million folks are diagnosed with the SCC - Squamous cell carcinoma type skin cancer.
  • The death rate in the U.S. every year due to SCC skin cancer type is twice in number in comparison to BCC skin cancer type.

What is Skin cancer? 

Skin Cancer is referred to as the 'Unusual development of the skin cells when they are exposed to the sun rays.' Yet, in rare cases, these cells can also develop in the area not exposed to the sunlight. 


According to the stats provided by cancerjournal.net, 'Skin cancer in India is less than 4% as compared to other varieties of cancers.'


The DNA damage provokes and calls for the mutations resulting in the unwanted skin cells in the outer skin area called the epidermis. The mutations constructed allows the skin cells to multiply quickly causing the malignant tumor. 


What are the common causes of Skin Cancer in Females? 

Common causes of skin cancers are because of the errors or mutations in the DNA which expand without any control forming a mass of cancer cells. 


Squamous cell skin cancer

SCC is caused due to the long-term exposure of skin cells to hazardous chemicals which are prone to causing cancer. 


HPV - Human Papillomavirus is one of the causes of SCC. 


It develops itself inside the scars, ulcers, burns, and infected areas. 


Basal cell skin cancer

BCC is one of the most common types of skin cancer. It is usually caused because of direct exposure to ultraviolet rays - UV rays. 


These UV Rays can arrive in the form of tanning beds or the sunlight. They end up deteriorating the skin cells' DNA which further leads to the development of cancer-causing skin cell multiplication.  


Melanoma

In a similar way to Squamous cell skin cancer and Basal cell skin cancer, Melanoma can be caused because of your skin exposure to UV rays. 


According to the researchers, 'Many moles can convert themselves in the form of Melanoma, although the reason behind this is still unidentified.'


In contrast to this, Melanoma holds the capacity to develop itself in places that aren't directly exposed to the sun rays.


What are the symptoms of Skin Cancer? How do you Screen Skin Cancer?

Skin cancers may knock on your door without much of the symptoms. You need to be smart enough to catch the unusual skin changes like excess irritation, redness, swelling, etc and get it checked as soon as possible to avoid it reaching the last stage. 


Some of the common symptoms are mentioned beneath -


Border

The borders or the edges will be unevenly distributed and rough. 


Diameter

The infected spot will have a size of a pencil eraser. It is generally larger than one-quarter inch.


Skin Lesions

A fresh mole, bump, swelling, dark scar, patches may develop in the affected area with the unprecedented growth.


Color

The infected area has an odd color like light pink, orangish-red, greenish-black, white, or blue.


Evolving

It's the change in the mole shape, size, and color. 


Asymmetry

Mole's two counterparts aren't indistinguishable or identical to each other.


What are the treatments available for skin cancer?


1.Surgical excision

In this procedure, the local anesthetic is used to numb the area surrounding the tumor. The sutures, skin grafts, or flaps are used to cover the wounded corners once the tumor and other tissue are discarded from the infected area.


Pros

    • The chances or the success rate of it are 90%.
    • Ensures the removal of the entire tumor from roots.
    • Scars produced can be covered via cosmetic alternatives.

Cons

    • Highly expensive, not everybody can afford it.
    • Extremely complicated process.

2.Electrodessication & Curettage

After numbing the tumor area using the anesthesia method, it is then rubbed continually with the cuvette and the corners with a sharp electrified needle. 


Pros

    • Extremely easy and fast method.
    • Inexpensive as compared to another treatment cost.

Cons

    • The recurrence rate in this treatment is more than 15%.
    • Scars many times get out of sight which makes the treatment difficult.

3.Photodynamic Therapy

In this therapy, the tissue is demolished using the freezing method. 


This method uses the blue light and the medicines for -


    • Destroying the lesions
    • Eradicating the cancer-causing tissues or cells from the roots.
    • Using Laser Surgery to vaporize all the topmost layers of the skin.

4.Radiation therapy

Being one of the non-surgical-based therapy, Radiation Therapy takes almost the period of 10 to 15 days of treatments and doctor visits. During these days, the high dose of radiation procedure is carried on the tumor area and its small neighborhood skin of the patient. 


Pros 

    • No involvement in cutting
    • Beneficial for the folks who are not eligible for surgical remedies 

Cons 

    • Mostly reserved for old aged folks
    • Scars brighten with time
    • No further treatment ensures the removal of a tumor from the scratch
    • Highly expensive

5.Mohs micrographic surgery

The surgeon removes the visible tumor along with the small part of the tissue after putting the infected area in anesthesia. With the help of a microscope, the tissue is examined and all the tumor-affected areas are then found. 


Pros

    • Helpful for extreme level cases like 'badly defined tumor margins.'
    • Helps in dealing with cases where normal tissue preservation is mandatory.
    • Treats high-risk tumors.
    • The best option for the recurred tumors.

Cons

    • Very complicated
    • An expensive choice to make

6.Topical treatments

It utilizes the Aldara, liquid solutions, gels, and creams to produce interferon for attacking the chemotherapy drug called 5-fu fluorouracil, and the cancer tumor. It works in a way that energizes the immune system. 


Pros

    • Low cost
    • A small quantity of drugs is needed while operating.
    • Lesser side effects

Cons

  • No availability of the tissue to tell whether the tumor is completely eradicated from the skin or not.
  • More than 20% of the people suffer from inflammation, discomfort, and redness after the treatment.

Key Takeaways

You can avoid skin cancers by avoiding the things that trigger it from roots. Get yourself treated the very next moment you feel that there is something unusual happening with your skin. The initial stages of cancers are easy to get rectified in 90% of the cases with only 10% of recurrence threat. But if it reaches the higher stages, then it may get worse. Consult your doctor to avoid any such circumstances.


References

https://www.medicinenet.com/skin_cancer_overview/article.htm


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