What is the treatment for skin cancer?

                     What is the treatment for skin cancer?

What is the treatment for skin cancer?- ichhori.com

CANCER; listening to the word itself gives you the chills because of the fact that how scary and dangerous it can be. And people get scared talking or listening about Cancer because of the fact that it is fatal and not easily curable. And CANCER, although just a six letter word, has a lot of negative impact on the minds of the people, because of the fact that one can hardly see anyone getting recovered from cancer and living a happy life, because what most of the times we see is cancer leading to the death of our loved ones. Thus, one can see that a lot of awareness has been rising against cancer, it’s symptoms, types and treatment so that people don’t have to lose their loved ones to a deadly disease yet again. 

And when we know how dangerous or scary the disease Cancer cab be, it is impossible for us to think that all different types of cancer are not dangerous or fatal but the reality is that, So, yes not all types of cancers are dangerous or fatal but today we are going to look at how bad or serious skin cancer can be but before that we shall have a look at what is Cancer, Skin Cancer and it’s types.

What is cancer? 

Cancer is a type of disease in which some of the body’s cells grow crazily and outspreads to other parts of the body. 

Cancer can develop anywhere and everywhere in the human body, which is made up of billions & billions of cells. Usually, human cells grow and multiply (through a process known as cell division) to form new cells as it the necessity of the body. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells appear in place of the old ones.

However once in a while this orderly procedure breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply in a crazy manner when they shouldn’t. And these abnormal or damaged cells may form tumours, (Tumours are nothing but lumps of tissues). Although Tumours can either be cancerous or non - cancerous (also known as benign).


What is Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer is nothing but the abnormal growth of the skin cells and most often develops on the skin that is most exposed in the sunlight. But that doesn’t mean that one can be affected by skin cancer on the areas not exposed to the sun. There are three main types of Skin Cancer and they are as follows:

  • Basal cell carcinoma, 

  • Squamous cell carcinoma and 

  • Melanoma

And they have got their names from the different layers of the skin, meaning the layer of the skin where the cancer cells grow or develop.

Let’s have a quick look at the most common symptoms of Skin Cancer, because if we are not able to identify Skin Cancer then there won’t be any treatment for it as well. Thus, it is extremely important to know about the symptoms of the disease before knowing about it’s treatment. 

Some of the symptoms of Skin Cancer are as follows:

  • Pinkish or Red shiny bumps.

  • A flat white or yellowish area on the skin.

  • Red patches.

  • Open sore that doesn’t heal.

  • Raised bumps with slight indention at the centres.

  • Wartlike (a small hard growth on the skin caused by a virus) growths.

  • Appearance of a large brownish in colour spot along with darker speckles.

  • Moles that change colour, size, or even bleeds.

  • Appearance of a small sized lesion with an irregular border and can appear as red, blue, pink, white and blue-black in some places.

  • Appearance of a lesion which is itchy and sometimes painful.

  • These lesions can also appear in a darker version on one’s soles, palms, fingertips or toes, even on one’s mucous membranes, on the lining of one’s mouth, nose, anus and vagina.

What is the treatment for skin cancer?

There are various treatments available for treating skin cancers and here mentioned below are some of the most common treatments available for skin cancer:

  • Surgery

Most skin cancers are treated with surgery, especially basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which are usually removed by a dermatologist as part of an outpatient procedure. Acute cancers, such as melanoma, may require extensive surgery to remove the tumour.

  • Treatment of topics

These non-invasive therapies include photodynamic therapy, topical chemotherapy and immune response modifiers. They are usually used to treat basal or squamous cell carcinomas or cancer-free ulcers.

  • Chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy comes out as an option for patients with advanced skin cancer, such as Merkel cell carcinoma that has spread somewhere else other than the skin the in the body as well. These anti-cancer drugs are designed to stop or slow the growth of rapidly growing tumour cells. 

  • Radiation therapy 

Radiation therapy is usually recommended to people after surgery, to kill the remaining cancer cells in the area where the lymph nodes were removed. This treatment is also used for recurrent skin cancer to reduce symptoms or to reduce the spread of the disease (metastasis). 

  • Targeted treatment 

Targeted therapies are a method used to treat melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, which prove to be rare cases of advanced basal cell carcinoma. A type of targeted drug that is approved to treat rare cases of basal cell carcinoma is called hedgehog pathway inhibitors because it directs the way the hedgehog, a signature system essential for healthy cell growth in a child. The pathology usually swells when a person is older, but cancer cells may re-activate hedgehog pathways in adults, promoting tumour growth in some cases. Because of the importance of the method in child development, these drugs should not be taken by pregnant or potential pregnant women.

  • Immunotherapy 

Checkpoint inhibitors and cytokines are two types of immunotherapy drugs that can be used to treat other conditions of Merkel cell carcinoma and melanoma. Drugs are designed to stimulate the immune system to target and attack cancer cells.

Other than the most common treatments available for Skin Cancer, there are also some lesser known treatments and they are as follows:

  • External radiation therapy (EBRT): EBRT directs radiation from outside the body to cancerous tissue inside the body. It is a cancer treatment that uses radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. Benefits of using EBRT to treat skin cancer can include: 

  1. EBRT is an outpatient procedure. 

  2. This procedure does not have the usual risks or complications associated with major skin cancer surgery, which may include surgical bleeding, postoperative pain or risk of stroke, heart disease or blood clots. 

  3. The procedure itself is painless. 

  4. EBRT does not pose a radio risk to you or to any of your contacts. As you do EBRT, you can continue normal activities with family and friends.

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): If you have previously received radiation treatment for skin cancer and are experiencing recurrent tumours in the area of ​​treatment, IMRT may be an option for you. Compared with conventional radiotherapy, IMRT allows our radiation oncologists to use higher doses of radiation than conventional therapies that may be acceptable in these areas. At the same time, IMRT helps to protect healthy skin tissues around harmful radiation levels.

Thus, the above mentioned are some of the available treatments for skin cancers, and one can be treated using either of these depending on the type of cancer, how serious is it and so on. 

Ref: Skin cancer - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Skin Cancer Information - The Skin Cancer Foundation

Skin Cancer Treatment Options & Side Effects | CTCA (cancercenter.com)

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