- Skin cancer, a common but preventable disease, classifies into basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
- Signs of skin cancer include new moles, non-healing wounds, red/scaly patches, texture changes, and family history.
- Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, may develop in existing moles, warranting monitoring and early detection.
- Non-healing sores, red/scaly patches, and texture changes signify potential skin cancer and necessitate immediate medical consultation.
- Depending on the type and stage, skin cancer treatments include dermal fillers, photodynamic therapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, with millions of cases diagnosed annually worldwide. Sadly, the number of people diagnosed with this disease is rising. Here’s the thing, skin cancer is preventable if caught early enough. So, it’s essential to know the signs of skin cancer and to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Here’s what you need to know about skin cancer, the signs you might have it, and how to deal with it.
What is Skin Cancer?
One of the most common types of skin cancer forms when cells in the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) begin to grow out of control. Skin cancer is categorized into three main groups: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal and squamous cells are considered non-melanoma skin cancers that are generally slow growing and highly treatable. Melanoma, on the other hand, is a more aggressive form of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of your body.
Signs of Skin Cancer
No matter what type of skin cancer you have, certain signs may indicate something’s wrong. These include:
Moles are common, and most of the time, they are harmless. However, if you notice new moles appearing or changes in the color, size, or shape of existing moles, you need to visit your dermatologist as soon as possible. Melanomas, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, can develop in existing moles, so keeping an eye on them is crucial.
Wounds That Won’t Heal
If you have sores that won’t heal, they could be a sign of skin cancer. This is especially true if they bleed, scab over, and then continue to bleed and scab repeatedly or if they’re in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. It’s crucial to have these sores checked and tested for skin cancer.
Red and Scaly Patches
If you have red or scaly patches on your skin, especially your face or scalp, could signify a developing form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. These patches may itch, bleed, can get crusted over, or even form an open sore. If these symptoms persist, visit your dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Changes in Skin Texture
A sign of skin cancer can be a change in the skin’s texture on affected areas like the face or neck. It may develop into a waxy bump or scaly patch, and an expanding lesion may accompany it. Sometimes a lesion may have unusual borders that are blurred, jagged, or ragged. It’s best to visit your dermatologist for the correct diagnosis and treatment of a skin texture change.
Family History of Skin Cancer
Being aware of a family history of skin cancer is crucial. People with a family history of skin cancer are at increased risk of developing it themselves. Knowing and monitoring any abnormalities in your skin could save your life. So, if your family history indicates an increased risk, you must check your skin and visit your dermatologist regularly.
Ways to Deal With Skin Cancer
There are various ways you can treat skin cancer. Here are four ways:
Skin toxicity is a common side effect of cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. Fortunately, dermal fillers can reduce the effects of such treatments by filling in areas of the face where skin cells have been damaged. Additionally, these medications may help improve overall complexion and restore natural contours. So book your dermal fillers consultation if you’re undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. The consultation can check if you can undergo this consultation and ways to deal with it.
Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, is a treatment used to treat skin cancer. It involves the use of light-activated drugs that are injected into the tumor. The drug then interacts with light, destroying cancerous cells and leaving healthy cells intact. Photodynamic therapy can be an effective alternative to surgery for certain types of skin cancer.
Surgery is a common treatment for skin cancer, and it has been proven to be the most effective way to remove tumors from the body. Depending on your tumor type, your doctor may use different methods, such as Mohs surgery or simple excision. The type of surgery used will depend on the tumor’s size, location, and aggressiveness.
Immunotherapy is a therapy that uses your immune system to fight cancer cells. It works by boosting your body’s natural ability to recognize and attack cancer cells, allowing it to target only the cancerous cells while leaving healthy tissue unharmed. It’s an effective way to manage skin cancer and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Skin cancer is a severe condition that must be addressed quickly and correctly. Knowing the signs of skin cancer and ways to deal with it can help you stay safe and healthy. So if you notice any changes in your skin or develop any worrisome lesions, don’t hesitate and make an appointment with your dermatologist. They can help you diagnose and treat skin cancer, giving you the best possible outcome.