Skin cancer: an overview of the symptoms and treatment options

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer On NoseSkin cancer has been termed as the uncontrolled growth of skin cells which are mainly abnormal. These cancer cells tend to grow and spread to other parts if left unhealed which can be fatal eventually. The two main types of skin cancer are Melanoma which is the most dangerous, and Carcinomas which are more popular but less dangerous in comparison to the former. Approximately 50,000 cases of Melanoma are identified every year in the United States alone. Skin cancer mostly occurs on then develops on body parts that are usually exposed to sunlight but in some cases, it can develop on parts that are rarely in contact with sunlight like the genitals. It is also notable to know that all skin tones including darker complexions are prone to skin cancer.

Cells of  origin

The cells of origin of skin cancer may vary depending on the type but in both types, the common factor remains that the epidermis is what is affected.

Melanoma develops in the cells responsible for pigmentation commonly referred to as melanocytes. It remains the most fatal and leading cause of death from any known skin illness.

Carcinomas mainly occur from the abnormal growth of cells found in the lower layer of the epidermis. It is known for being the most common cancer affecting the skin.

Symptoms

Identifying skin cancer can be quite tricky mainly because it may come in different variations and appearances. Remaining aware of the changes on your skin may go a long way in identifying skin cancer in its early stages where it is easier to treat. Here are some of the common skin cancer appearances;

• Any growth that may occur on the skin constantly bleeding without healing especially after 4 weeks.

• A skin lesion that may be hurting or itching without any reason. It may become an ulcer which does not heal within the recommended four weeks.

• A bump on the skin that seems waxy or a nodule mostly red in color.

• In melanoma, the spots, nodule or bump usually occurs in more private body parts and usually change colors mostly dark such as blue, black or brown.

Treatments

The different types of cancer call for different medical procedures depending on a host of factors such as the depth, size and location of the cancer. Procedures taken mostly include surgical practices such as excision which is basically curving out the cancer, or curettage which is scraping away the abnormal cells. Various medications such as skin creams are also available on prescription.

References

- Skin Cancer Symptoms and Signs, Types, Pictures – OnSkinCancer.com > http://www.onskincancer.com/

- Learning About Skin Cancer > http://www.genome.gov/10000184

- Skin Cancer Treatment Options > http://www.onskincancer.com/treatment/