Malignant Disease of the Skin
Skin Cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the outer layer of the skin known as epidermis. This is caused by mutations resulting from unrepaired DNA damage. There are three major types of Cancers of the Skin:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is caused by exposure to UV rays for extended periods of time. It commonly occurs in areas that are exposed to the sun such as head and neck.
What are the Symptoms?
- Skin colored bump
- A brown or black lesion
- Red patch that tends to grow overtime
- A sore that heals but comes back again
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the middle and top layers of the skin. This condition is not life threatening but if untreated, it can spread to other body parts resulting in serious complications. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur in any part of the body, but most commonly occurs on the scalp, back of the hands or ears.
What are the signs & symptoms?
- A flat lesion
- Firm nodule
- Red sore or rough patch on the lips or inside the mouth
- New sore on an old scar or ulcer
Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that occurs in the melanin (pigment that gives color to your skin). Melanoma can occur also in eyes or internal organs.
What are the symptoms?
- A change in the existing mole
- Development of a new pigmented growth on the skin
Risk Factors of Skin Cancer
- Less melanin or pigment in the skin gives less protection from UV rays and increases risk of Skin Cancer
- History of Sunburns
- Excessive exposure to the sun
- Exposure to Radiation
- Family History of Skin cancer
- History of Abnormal Moles
Tips for prevention:
- Avoid sun during middle of the day
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen
- Check if any of your medications increase your sensitivity to sun
- Check your skin on a regular basis