Skin Cancer is defined by the malignant growth on the skin. This form of malignancy is pretty visible and tends to be pretty localized in particular regions of the skin. There point of origin: the epidermis. This epidermis is the superficial/the upper most layer of the skin.
This form of cancer is also pretty varied and to that end, unless it is the case of malignant melanoma, the malignancy would not spread to the other parts of the body.
Now, let us move on from this segway and get into the types of skin cancer.
Types of Skin Cancer
When it comes down to it, there are three major types of skin cancer, and they are listed below:
- Basal Skin carcinoma:
This form of skin cancer is listed in the first because it is also the most common one. Its common nature lies in the fact that there are several forms of this type of cancer. Its types range from the cancer of superficial nature, which are mostly localized to the point of being counted as benign to the nodular type, where the issues become a lot more serious. To that end, the higher on the range scale you go the challenging it becomes to deal with the problem. However, being localised, the chance of basal cell carcinoma to spread to distant organs are pretty close to none.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
This is the second most common cause of Skin cancer. This form of skin cancer is prevalent in those people whose immune system is not working in a proper manner. That being said, you can say that in the initial form, it behaves like the basal Cell. However, the difference between this and he basal one is that the chance of Squamous Cell carcinoma to metastasize is pretty significant.
While the point of origin of the upper two types is the epidermis, you can say that there is no difference between them, other than the fact that one can actually spread. However, here, it is a totally different story. The skin cancer of this kind would definitely spread to the other parts, i.e., the cancer is metastasized and therefore, can tr5avel to other organs at a significant speed. Furthermore, the point of origin is not the epidermis; it is the melanocytes. These are the cells that produce the skin pigment. To that end, it is easy to imagine why the cancer would spread at such a rate.
What causes skin cancer?
When it comes to the causes of skin cancer, they are not very easy to ascertain. However, they can be genetic. Furthermore, the entire matter of skin cancer is dependent upon the immune system of the body (as noted in squamous cell carcinoma). To that end, if your immune system is compromised, certain forms of malignant tumours can grow on the skin. To that end, everything about depends upon not the cause, but the risk factors associated with it.
Risk factors of skin cancer
The risk factors are the factors/conditions/circumstances under which the chances for the disease to happen to the body increase significantly. When it comes to the malignancy of the skin, the factors responsible for it are the following:
- Exposure to ultraviolet light:
When it comes to exposure to ultraviolet light, it can happen either naturally (through the sunlight), or the tanning beds. Now, you guys are already aware of what is happening up in the ozone, so I don’t need to accentuate on that much. However, when it comes to tanning beds which are mostly used by the fair skinned individuals (white people); the risk of encountering melanoma is quite high because of the radiation.
- A suppressed immune system can also lead to the same:
When the immune system is chronically compromised in the case of diseases such as HIV Aids, or any other infection, or certain medicines, the skin is prone to grow malignancies.
- X-Ray exposure:
When the skin is exposed to the ionised radiation, there is a chance of malignant growth due to the mutative nature of cancer.
- Sexual intercourse:
You would think that something like cancer won’t be infectious. However, when it comes to skin cancer, it can be transferred to another person, or can be transferred in from another person. This happens due to the transference of wart virus infections.
- Family history:
If there have been instance of cancer if your family, there is roughly a 20 % chance that you would suffer from the same eventually.
- Old age:
When people get older, so does their immune symptom and their skin integrity! Therefore, he chances of skin cancer to happen in older people in quite a lot when it comes down to it.
How to conquer skin cancer?
Skin cancer is unlike any other forms of cancer. The reason is not the danger to life, but how apparent it becomes. Therefore, you need to conquer it before it transforms into a metastasized deviant and spreads to the other organs as well. To that end, the following are the treatment options to deal with the issue:
- Topical medication: It might come as a surprise, but when it comes to the matter of basal cell carcinoma, the treatments offered are topical medication. These include creams, gels, and solutions that are to be applied directed on the region the cancer is present. Once you apply them, the immune system is stimulated and the interferon produced can actually do much of the healing as they attack the cancer cells.
- The excision: Surgical excision is the process where first the tumor region is numbed by the use of anesthesia. Then it is turn for the removal process where the tumour is first removed, and then stitches are applied. Does the process seem primitive? Yes, it is! However, nevertheless, it is affective as proven with 90% cure rate.
- Electrodessication: Electrodessication is a process where the tumour area is first numbed and then repeatedly scraped using a sterilized sharp instrument. This is a fast and easy method with no high costs. However, all the scraping is borderline maniacal and the end result on the skin is unsightly to say the least.
- Micrographic Surgery: This surgical process is also called the Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Here, first, the visible part of the tumor is removed along with a small healthy tissue. Now, this part is checked under the microscope to check the density of cancer cells. Then the removal process begins again, and then again. This iteration goes through until the cancer is completely done with.
- Radiation Therapy: If the patients are not cut out to be operated on via the surgical treatments, radiation therapy is also one of the options. The goal of the process is similar, to remove the tumour and some normal tissues along with it. However, here, radiation is used to do it. That being said, the process is rather expensive and when you weigh it against the fact that radiation marks look hideous, you would want to go for the surgical procedures too.
- Photodynamic therapy, a drug-n-light combo: This is a therapy where blue ray of light is used on a skin of a person who has been medicated prior to the procedure to destroy (mostly vaporize) the cancer cells. This therapy has been known to be extremely helpful as it vaporizes the top layer of the skin.
Skin cancer is detriment that is not just fatal to your life, but your looks as well. However, if you are strong enough and motivated enough, you can conquer it, provided you are patient and willing.