What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer
It’s likely that you’ve already heard about the dangers of excessive sun exposure, which can greatly increase the risk of skin cancer. But you might not be as well informed about skin cancer itself, such as the different types, the symptoms and signs, and the available treatments. Could you be doing more to reduce your risk? When is it necessary to conduct a skin cancer check? This article will detail some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to skin cancer.
What Skin Cancer Types Are Commonly Diagnosed?
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
This type of skin cancer often forms on the face, torso, arms, ears and scalp due to sun exposure. It’s the most common type of skin cancer. While basal cell carcinomas don’t normally spread, they can still cause damage. Each year, there are more than one million cases of BCC diagnosed. Organising a skin cancer check at a local clinic is the best way to get a diagnosis if you suspect Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
This type of skin cancer begins in the top layers of the skin and is caused by exposure to sunlight over aperson’s lifetime. Some SCCs can spread to other areas of the body, making it important to catch them early by conducting a regular skin cancer check. Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with SCCs every year, making it the second most common type of skin cancer.
Melanomas are formed in the cells that make pigment in the skin. While not as common as other skin cancer types, they’re the most dangerous. This is because a melanoma can spread very fast to the organs. Fortunately, if you receive an early diagnosis and seek prompt treatment, the cure rate is high. If you notice a suspicious mole on your body, ensure you get it looked at by a doctor.
What Are the Skin Cancer Symptoms & Signs?
The first sign a mole or skin lesion might be cancerous is typically a change in its appearance. Skin cancers occur due to excessive growth of skin cells. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s important to organise a professional skin cancer check as soon as possible:
- A shiny pimple or sore that won’t heal
- Roughor red skin
- Crusty growths
- Moles that grow fast or change in their shape, colour or size
How is Skin Cancer Treated?
Non-melanoma skin cancer types can be easily treated. If melanoma is caught early on before it spreads throughout the body, it can also be highly treatable. When it comes to treating skin cancer, the optimal outcome is to get rid of all cancer, which is done through surgical treatments to begin with. The type of surgery required will vary depending on the skin cancer’s type, size, depth and position. Common surgery types include Mohs micrographic surgery, standard excision for minor skin cancers, and curettage and electrodessication. Sometimes other treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy or immunotherapy will be required as a follow up or for cases where surgery isn’t suitable.