Skin cancer can be defined as the abnormal growth of skin cells, often due to too much sun exposure, but there are other factors to consider.There are three main types of skin cancer, which are named based on which part of the body is affected.Melanoma is the most deadly type because it’s most likely to spread to other parts of the body.It is possible to detect cancer in its early stages if you check your skin for unusual changes on a regular basis.
Step 1: The skin most exposed to the sun should be the focus.
Although skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, it’s most likely to occur on areas with the most sun exposure.The UV radiation in the sun damages the skin cells and causes them to become cancer cells.You should spend more time checking parts of your body that get the most sun, such as your face, ears, neck, upper chest, forearms, and hands.Look for marks on your skin, especially new growths.Some outdoor jobs make it difficult to not let certain areas get constant sun exposure.If you can’t always cover your skin up, apply a strong sunscreen.Women who wear skirts, shorts, and halter tops are more likely to get skin cancer.If you want to see as much of your skin as possible, you need to check it for unusual spots just prior to bathing.If you have poor eyesight, use a magnifying glass.
Step 2: Determine your risk factors.
Some people have more risk factors for skin cancer than others.The main risk factors include fair skin with freckles, red hair, over-exposure to UV radiation, having lots of moles, prior radiation treatments, weakened immunity, exposure to arsenic and a family history of skin cancer.Some of the risk factors can’t be avoided, but some can be changed, such as being cautious in the sun.Lighter shades of skin have lessmelanin, which is protective against the damaging effects of UV radiation.Light skinned people are more at risk for skin cancer.If you sunburn as a child/teenager, you are more likely to get skin cancer as an adult.People who live in high altitudes get more exposure to the sun’s UV rays.It’s beneficial for producing vitamin D and lowering your risk of depression, but also a risk factor for developing skin cancer.Large irregularly shaped moles can become cancer if they are exposed to a lot of UV radiation.
Step 3: There are different types of cancer.
There are differences between normal marks on the skin and skin cancer.Basal cell carcinoma can look like pearly/waxy bumps in its early stages and then turn into a flat, flesh-colored or brown scar later on.Scurvy cell carcinoma is often firm, red, and progresses to flat, crusted surfaces.Finally, melanomas can appear as large brownish spots with darker speckles, or small lesions with irregular borders.Basal cell carcinomas are usually found in the neck or face.Darker-skinned people are more likely to have Squamous cell carcinomas.Melanoma can be found on skin that has no sun exposure.It develops on the palms, soles, fingertips, and toes.
Step 4: The ABCDEs of melanoma acronym can be learned.
A handy acronym to learn and help you identify potential melanomas on your skin is referred to as the ABCDEs of melanoma.A is asymmetrical, B is border, C is color, D is diameter, and E is evolving.One half of the mole is different from the other.A poorly defined border is a mole/blemish.The mole/blemish has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red or blue.Melanomas can be a little smaller if they are diagnosed.A mole is changing in size, shape, or color.If your moles or spots have any of the above signs or features, you need to see a doctor.
Step 5: You can make an appointment with your doctor.
If you notice unusual looking marks on your skin, particularly if you didn’t notice them before or they’ve recently changed, you should see your doctor right away.Most skin conditions that can mimic cancer can be ruled out by your family physician, but you will most likely be referred to a skin specialist.Treatment for skin cancer is more effective if you catch it early.The doctor will look at the skin sample under a microscope to better diagnose your skin condition.There are two types of skin biopsies, a shave and a punch.Skin cancer can cause itching, inflammation, and tender to touch.Melanoma can cause the skin to bleed and form a scab.Most cases of skin cancer grow slowly.It’s usually a more serious type of skin cancer if it gets bigger quickly.
Step 6: Discuss non- surgical procedures with your doctor.
If you have a skin cancer that is not as serious or dangerous as melanomas, there are a number of quick procedures that can be done.Radiation therapy is one of the examples.Radiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays to kill cancer cells.Basal cell carcinomas can’t be cut out with it.15-30 treatments are needed by patients.Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer on the skin.This treatment only works on cancers on the skin’s surface.Photodynamic therapy uses laser light after chemicals are applied to the skin.The drugs destroy cancer cells by making them sensitive to high-intensity light.The immune system is used to kill cancer cells.In the lab or in your body, you’re given compounds that boost your natural defenses against cancer.
Step 7: You can ask your doctor about the procedure.
Treatments for skin cancer vary based on size, type, depth, and location.If you want to remove small skin cancers on the surface, you can either shave them off or freeze them.It’s a sign that your skin cancer is small and not very dangerous.It takes a few days for the dead tissue to thaw after your doctor applies liquid nitrogen.It’s not often used for deeper melanomas because they are closer to the surface of the skin.The procedure is used to remove skin tags.It’s a very painful procedure that only takes a few minutes.
Step 8: Discuss excisional surgery with your doctor.
cisional surgery involves cutting out the cancer from the healthy skin.Sometimes a bit of normal skin is removed just to be on the safe side, which leaves a large wound to heal.This type of surgery is appropriate for all types of skin cancer.During an office visit, an excisional surgery is performed.The area is numbed with anesthesia.Under the microscope, the marginal skin is examined to see if it’s free of cancer cells.
Step 9: There will be more serious skin cancer surgery.
If no cancer cells can be seen after the surgery, the skin will be removed and examined under a microscope.It’s similar to excisional surgery, but it allows cancer cells to be removed without taking a lot of surrounding healthy skin.Larger, recurring, or difficult-to-treat skin cancers should be treated with a Mohs surgery.When it’s necessary to conserve as much skin as possible, Mohs surgery is often used on the nose.The highest cure rate for difficult-to-treat basal cell carcinomas can be found in Mohs surgery.
Step 10: Discuss the need for curettage with your doctor.
A curette is used to remove the surface tumor and then destroy any remaining cancer cells with an electric needle.The electricity can destroy cancer cells, but it can also cause a wound to bleed.The procedure can be repeated up to 3 times.It’s more effective and efficient on smaller skin cancer types that are closer to the surface of the skin.This technique leaves a moderate wound, less than regular excisional surgery, but bigger than that left from Mohs surgery.