Skin cancer generally is a type of disease whereby cancer cells that are malignant are located in the skin’s outer layer.
In the U.S., skin cancer, being the most widespread type of all cancers, affects approximately 1 million Americans each year.
However, the great news is, today skin cancer is a curable condition when discovered early then promptly treated.
All skin cancer forms develop keeping similar patterns. Typically, the first indication of cancer is a change of you existing mole’s appearance, the development of a “new mole” on your skin or a specific area of your skin changes change appearance.
Skin cancer may not become evident for several years and skin cancers rarely develops before an individual reaches the age of twenty or more.
Skin cancer types
1. Basal cell skin cancer. This typically appears to be a tiny lesion or wound in your skin lasting for up to three weeks or more. The lesion appears waxy, it is detected easily and can be treated successfully.
2. “Asquamous cell”. This cancer type generally starts as a tiny raised and small bump and at times can have a sore at the center. Usually, it does not feel itchy or even cause pain.
Typically it is found at the edge of the face, ears, mouth and lips but can also spread to other parts of your body. It is more insistent compared to “basal cell carcinoma”, but is extremely treatable.
3. Melanoma. This type is the most serious form skin cancer, it is formed from melanocytes which are normal cells in your skin which produces melanin.
For all skin cancer forms, sunlight exposure is the most significant environmental factor.
Research evidence reveal that sunburns when obtained in early childhood may bring about skin cancer during maturity.
• Faired skinned and red or blonde-haired individuals.
• Those that have “light-colored” eyes.
• Those that are easily sunburned during sun exposure.
• Has a lot of freckles, moles or birthmarks.
• Excessive working or playing outside.
• Having had serious sunburn.
• Has family history “of skin cancer”.
• Tanning under the sun or tanning using a sunlamp.
Depending on the type of skin cancer, a combination of new, innovative and traditional therapies are offered by doctors and determine the combination of suitable therapies that can include the following:
1. Surgery. Is often used as a treatment for skin cancer. There are several types of surgery depending on the stage and location of cancer.
“Mohs micrographic surgery” is a type of surgery method that although is very complex and necessitates special training, has the highest “cure rate” since the tumor is delineated microscopically until the growth is totally removed.
2. Radiation therapy. Is a treatment using “high-energy” rays to shrink or kill cancer cells.
3. Photodynamic therapy. This involves a two-stage procedure which is done usually on outpatient basis. Generally, a “light-activated” drug is injected that targets the cancerous cells.
Then after about 24 to 48 hours a “laser light” is then directed onto the tumor cells via a scope that exposes the cancerous cells unto a light spectrum that switches the drug on, killing cancerous cells but not damaging the healthy tissue surrounding it.
4. Topical chemotherapy. Simply, medication in the form of cream or ointment is directly placed onto your skin.
• From 10:00 in the morning thru 3:00 in the after, which is the sun’s peak intensity, do wear sunglasses, woven clothes and hat or umbrella when you go out.
• Never use tanning booths and sun lamps.
• Every time you go out, even on cloudy days, always apply a sunscreen on with “sun-protection factor” of 15-30 hours.
• Every month, check your skin for skin cancer signs.
According to recent estimates, about 50 percent Americans who will live to up to age 65 or more years, will acquire skin cancer. So any lesions or bumps or abnormal skin growth you may have on your skin, never take it for granted. Just to be on the safe side, see your doctor at once.