Health Desk- Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells are formed in the tissue of the skin, that is, when skin cells start growing abnormally, it is called skin cancer. There are many types of skin cancer, it usually occurs in those parts of the skin that come in contact with the sun’s rays, such as the face, neck, and hands.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells are formed in the tissue of the skin, that is, when skin cells start growing abnormally, it is called skin cancer. There are many types of skin cancer, it usually occurs in those parts of the skin that come in contact with the sun’s rays, such as the face, neck, and hands. Or sometimes it happens in those parts which do not come in contact with the sun at all. Although skin cancer can happen to people of any skin color, but it mostly occurs on fair skin because they have less amount of pigment called melanin.
Skin cancer starts from which cells of the skin?
The skin consists of many layers, but the two main layers are the epidermis (top or outer layer) and the dermis (bottom or inner layer). Skin cancer begins in the ‘epidermis’, which is made up of three types of cells:-
Squamous cells: The thin, flat cells that make up the upper layer of the epidermis.
Basal cells: Below the squamous cells are round cells.
Melanocytes: These cells make melanin and are found in the lower part of the epidermis. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its natural colour. When the skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes make more pigment and darken the skin. Skin cancer forms in the basal cells or squamous cells, and melanoma, another common type of cancer, is more dangerous. Is.
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
- Not all growths on the skin are skin cancer, and not all skin cancer looks the same.
- Through some signs and symptoms, you can identify skin cancer in the beginning itself, such as –
- Sudden increase in the size, or number, of moles on the skin.
- Having a brown or red colored wound and not healing for a long time.
- Scaling of a wound on the skin.
- Basal cell carcinoma is skin cancer characterized by changes in the skin, such as a growth or lesion that will not heal.
- Frequent burning sensation around the eyes.
- Flat, scaly, red patches on the back or chest. Over time, these patches can become quite large.
How to check moles for skin cancer?
The ‘ABCDE’ rule can help you remember what to look for when checking moles. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
1. A – A means asymmetry, if your mole is not symmetrical. This means that it is not the same on both sides. If the moles are folded in half, and are not the same on both sides.
2. B – B means border, ie the border (edge) of mole is blurred or jagged.
3. C – C means color, change in color of mole can be black, fall of color, spread color or many colors like brown or red.
4. D – D means diameter, if moles or moles are more than ¼ inch in diameter.
5. E – E means Evolving, a mole looks different, changing in shape or color.
Types of skin cancer-
1. Basal cell carcinoma- Cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). It may appear as a small white or flesh-colored lump that slowly enlarges and may bleed. Basal cell carcinomas are usually found on areas of the body exposed to the sun. Rarely, basal cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body. These are the most common form of skin cancer. It is also called basal cell cancer.
2. Squamous cell carcinoma- The cancer begins in the cells that make up the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). It usually occurs on areas of skin that have been exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) for a long time. These areas include the face, ear, lower lip, neck, hands, or back of the hands. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin may appear as a hard red bump, a scaly red patch, an open sore, or a wart that is easily removed. There may be crusting or bleeding. Squamous cell carcinoma that hasn’t spread can usually be cured.
3. Melanoma- A form of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). It can start in a mole (skin melanoma), but it can also start in other tissue, such as the eye or intestines.
4. Actinic keratosis – A thick, scaly patch of skin that can become cancerous. It usually forms on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp, back of the hands, or chest. It is most common in people with fair skin. It is also called senile keratosis and solar keratosis.
Skin cancer risk factors –
Anything that increases your chances of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will get cancer; Or that not having a risk factor doesn’t mean you won’t get cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you are at risk. Prolonged exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds).
- Having a fair complexion, which includes:
- Fair skin that freckles and burns easily.
- Blue, green or other light colored eyes.
- Red or brown hair.
If you have had a sunburn before. Family history of any type of skin cancer. Certain gene changes or inherited syndromes, such as basal cell nevus syndrome, are associated with skin cancer. Swelling of the skin that persists for a long time. Weakening of the immune system means the immune system. exposure to arsenic. If you have ever had treatment with radiation. Older age is the main risk factor for most cancers. The chances of getting cancer increase with age.
Test procedure to check skin cancer-
1. Skin Examination: Examination of the skin for spots or spots that appear unusual in colour, size or texture.
2. Skin biopsy: An abnormal looking growth is cut from the skin and looked at under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer.
There are four main types of skin biopsy:
- Shave biopsy: A sterile razor blade is used to “shave-off” the abnormal-looking growth.
- Punch biopsy: A punch or a special instrument called a trephine is used to remove a circle of tissue from the abnormal looking growth.
- Incisional biopsy: A scalpel is used to remove part of the growth.
- Excisional biopsy: A scalpel is used to remove the entire abnormal growth.
Skin cancer prevention-
- One way to protect yourself from skin cancer is to protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is especially important to avoid sunburn, as it increases the risk of melanoma.
- Good ways to do this are by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing that covers your head.
- If you feel anything unusual from the skin, contact the doctor immediately.
- Women should take care of unusual stains or wounds on their feet because skin cancer can start from feet in women.
What is the treatment for skin cancer?
There are different types of treatment for patients with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and actinic keratosis—eight types of standard treatment are used:
1. Surgery- One or more surgical procedures may be used to treat basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or actinic keratosis.
2. Radiation therapy- Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body that sends radiation to the cancer site.
3. Chemotherapy- Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
4. Photodynamic therapy – Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment that uses a drug and a type of light to kill cancer cells. A drug that is not activated until exposed to light is injected into a vein or applied to the skin. The drug tends to accumulate more in cancer cells than in normal cells. For skin cancer, laser light is shined on the skin and the drug activates and kills the cancer cells.
5. Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This cancer treatment is a type of biological therapy.
6. Targeted therapy – Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells. Targeted therapies usually cause less damage to normal cells than chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
7. Chemical Peel – A chemical peel is a procedure that is used to improve certain skin conditions. A chemical solution is applied to the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells.
Chemical peels can be used to treat actinic keratosis. This type of treatment is also called chembrasion and chemexfoliation.
Apart from this, there is also other drug therapy which is better in curing skin cancer. Do not take any treatment steps of doctor’s opinion and keep these things in mind about skin cancer.