Skin cancer can be understood as an abnormal growth of cells that mostly occur in the skin that is exposed to the sun. However, it can also occur on the skin that is not usually exposed to the sun. Some of the common types of skin cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. In fact, more Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer more than any other type of cancer every year. Although this may sound shocking, the good news is that if it is detected early, skin can easily be treated by a reliable Midtown East dermatologist. Below are some important things you should know about skin cancer.
Skin cancer primarily develops in areas that are most exposed to the sun, including the face, scalp, ears, neck, lips, chest, neck, arms, hands, and legs. It can also form on areas that are not exposed to the sun, including the palms, beneath the toenails and fingernails, and around the genitals. It affects people of all skin tones. Depending on the type of skin cancer that a patient is suffering from, there are several symptoms that they can experience.
Some of them include:
A waxy or pearly bump
A flesh-colored or brown flat scar-like lesion
A scabbing or bleeding sore that heals and returns
A firm, red nodule
A flat lesion with a crusted, scaly surface
A large brownish spot with dark speckles
A mole that bleeds or changes in feel, size, and color
Dark lesion on toes, fingertips, soles, or palms
Skin cancer results from mutations in the skin cell’s DNA, which causes the skin cells to grow uncontrollably and form a mass of cancerous cells. In most cases, skin cancer results from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. However, exposure to the sunlight does not explain why parts of the skin that are not ordinarily exposed to the sun can get cancer. This implies that there are other factors that can contribute to skin cancer. For instance, having a condition that weakens the immune system or exposure to some toxins can cause skin cancer.
Some risk factors that are associated with skin cancer include:
History of sunburns
Excessive exposure to the sun
Having less melanin or skin pigment
Living in high altitude or sunny areas
Family history of skin cancer
Having a weak immune system
Exposure to radiations
Exposure to certain toxic substances
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, your doctor will subject you to more tests to demine the extent of cancer. Small skin cancers that have not gone beyond the surface of the skin may not require any treatment beyond the initial biopsy removing the growth as a whole. Other common skin cancer treatments include freezing, excisional surgery, Mohs surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
Overall, it is apparent that although skin cancer is quite common, it is an issue that can easily be treated, especially when it is diagnosed at its earliest stages of development when it is still easy to localize. Therefore, if you have any signs that indicate that you might have skin cancer, it is wise to seek the attention of a dermatologist immediately for diagnosis and treatment.