Home Skin CareSkin cancer Skin cancer: symptoms and treatment

Skin cancer: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in humans, and, illogically, it is also one of the most preventable. If detected early, the person diagnosed with this disease has a good chance of being cured and taking preventive measures so that the condition does not appear again. Depending on where it develops, skin cancer can be classified as non-melanoma or melanoma, the latter being the most dangerous and fortunately the least common. Any sudden change in the appearance of the skin, a mole, or wart can be a sign of malignancy and should be examined by a specialist in dermatology. Next, we invite you to carefully read this FastlyHealarticle where you can learn about skin cancer: symptoms and treatment.

Causes of skin cancer

  • The genetic predisposition is the leading risk factor for developing skin cancer, so people who have a family history of this disease should be reviewed periodically with a dermatologist as a preventive method.
  • Without a doubt, among the causes of skin cancer, the best known is excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays. People who do not use sunscreen daily, live in tropical climates, or sunbathe for a long time are at higher risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Few people know that artificial tanning machines can cause this type of cancer since the light they radiate is ultraviolet.
  • Exposure to chemicals like arsenic and paraffin is also a risk factor.
  • Skin lesions due to inflammation, irritation, infection, or skin wounds.
  • Treatment for psoriasis with ultraviolet light.
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare and inherited condition that decreases the skin’s ability to repair DNA damage after sun exposure.

Types of skin cancer

Skin cancer is commonly known as non-melanoma since this classification refers to all types of skin cancer except melanoma, the least common, the most dangerous, and the only kind that develops in cells melanocytes. Therefore, the most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer; it is slow-growing, and very rarely does it manages to spread to other parts of the body. When it is not treated in time, it can attack nearby areas such as bones, and, after treatment, there is a high probability that it will reappear in the same place.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. This disease originates in the epidermis, the most superficial layer of the skin, and accounts for 20% of the world’s skin cancer cases. It usually manifests itself in the body parts that have received the most sun exposure, such as the face, head, arms, chest, etc.

Less common melanomas:

  • Sarcomas: originate in connective tissue cells that are found deep in the layers of the skin. Although it is not impossible, it is rare for a sarcoma to develop in the epidermis.
  • Lymphoma: many people believe that lymphoma only grows in the lymph nodes, and the truth is that the skin also has a large number of cells that have lymphocytes, which, when they become malignant, cause lymphoma. This type of cancer is called primary cutaneous lymphoma.
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma: takes place in the dermis or some internal organs. People with HIV are at higher risk for this type of skin cancer.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma: takes place in the endocrine cells of the skin. It usually recurs after treatment and is likely to spread to the nodes or internal organs.

Melanoma skin cancer

It is the most severe type of skin cancer that exists and often manifests itself through changing the color, size, texture, and shape of a mole. Most melanomas are almost black or bluish, although they can also manifest themselves through the appearance of a sudden new mole.

This FastlyHealarticle gives you the keys and tips to detecting a malignant mole.

Symptoms of skin cancer

Skin cancer, in general, does not cause symptoms in its initial phase beyond the signs that we can find on our skin, and that can warn us that something is changing. Among the main warning signs of non-melanoma skin cancer is the growth of a mass, tumor, ulcer, or lump that has appeared suddenly, is enlarged, and does not heal after three months.

However, there are so many types of non-melanoma skin cancer that the manifestations can be highly variable; sometimes, they appear in the form of cysts; other times, there are ulcers that do not heal or shiny, oily skin lesions that can bleed. Areas of the skin where scarred blood vessels begin to itch or increase in size are visible are also red flags. Each cancer can manifest itself differently, so it is better to know them separately:

  • Basal cell carcinoma: occurs in flat areas of the skin that become reddish, waxy, shiny, and bleed with any minor damage such as simple rubbing. Deformed or blue or black blood vessels can be seen in this part of the skin.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: manifests through the sudden growth of bumps in rough areas. It can also appear in flat parts through reddish spots that slowly increase in size.
  • Sarcomas: are recognized by the presence of masses under the skin.
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma: usually begins in a small area that turns purple or black until it becomes a tumor.
  • Merkel cell carcinoma: it also usually appears under the skin. It can manifest through red or purple ulcers, sores, or nodules traditionally located on the face.

Melanoma: It is recognized by the sudden changes that a mole can present. One way to remember the changes that we must acknowledge in our moles and that can be alarming is to examine our body according to the ABCDE:

  • Asymmetry: the outline of one half of the mole is different from the other half.
  • Edges – These are jagged, fuzzy, or uneven.
  • Color: it is not even; it can be black, tan, or in various shades.
  • Diameter: size increases.
  • Evolution: sudden changes from week to week.

Skin cancer treatment

In most skin cancer, the most widely used treatment is the removal of the mole, ulcer, mass, or tumor that is causing the malignancy. Some treatments associated with this disease are:

  • Simple excision is the most used; it removes the tumor and removes part of the skin that surrounds it.
  • Mohs surgery: This treatment is also widely used to remove the affected skin layer and surrounding tissue to compare both samples under a microscope.
  • Cryosurgery: consists of freezing and destroying cancer cells by applying nitrogen.
  • Laser surgery: the application of lasers is used to vaporize the cancer cells of superficial carcinomas.
  • Electrodesiccation: the tumor is removed from the skin, and then, with the help of an electric needle, viable malignant cells that may have remained in the nearby tissue are destroyed.
  • Chemotherapy: topical chemotherapy is used that reaches the malignant cells of the skin more quickly and is only used to treat premalignant cases.
  • Radiation therapy: Cancer cells are killed through the application of radiation.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Skin cancer: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

You may also like

Leave a Comment