Skin Cancer – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.Skin cancer the abnormal growth of skin cells most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Skin cancer is a malignant growth on the skin which can have many causes. Skin cancer generally develops in the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, so a tumor is usually clearly visible. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the single most important cause of skin cancer, especially when the overexposure resulted in sunburn and blistering. This makes most skin cancers etectable in the early stages. There are three common types of skin cancer, each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises.

The two most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinomas have an excellent cure rate when detected early.

Together, these two are also referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is generally the most serious form of skin cancer because it tends to spread (metastasize) throughout the body quickly. Skin cancers are the fastest growing cancers in the United States and in the USA represent the most commonly diagnosed malignancy, surpassing lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.While skin cancers can be found on any part of the body, about 80 percent appear on the face, head, or neck, where they can be disfiguring as well as dangerous.

Causes of Skin Cancer

1.Ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

2.Sunburn.

3.Heredity.

4.Environment (Cloud cover).

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

1.Change in a wart or mole.

2.Red, tender, flat spot that bleeds easily.

3.Small, fleshy bump with a smooth, pearly appearance.

4.Shiny bump that may look like a mole or cyst.

5.Skin growth that looks like a wart.

6.Patch of skin that feels scaly, bleeds, or develops a crust.

Treatment of Skin Cancer

Most skin cancers can be treated by removal of the lesion, making sure that the edges (margins) are free of tumor cells. The excisions provide the best cure for both early and high-risk disease. Radiation therapy and cryotherapy (freezing the cancer off) can provide adequate control of the disease; both, however, have lower overall cure rates than surgery. Moh’s Microsurgery is a technique where the cancer is removed with the least amount of surrounding tissue and the edges checked immediately to see if tumor is found. Chemotherapy, drugs are used to kill cancer cells. For cancers limited to the top layer of skin, creams or lotions containing anti-cancer agents may be applied directly to the skin. Other types of chemotherapy can be used to treat skin cancers that have spread to other parts of the body.