The malignant growth of the skin can cause skin cancer. Generally the development of skin cancer is in the epidermis. So, you can see the tumor easily.
The most common types of skin cancers include: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer.
This condition is due to the exposure to sun light.
You will observe this cancer at the parts which are exposed to sun, such as head or neck.
You will found this type of skin cancer in middle-aged and older people.
Nowadays it is affecting younger people also because of spending much time in the sun without protecting the skin.
Three among every four people with skin cancer have basal cell carcinoma. Generally, people will not die only because of this condition.
Factors causing basal cell carcinoma:
- Ultraviolet light is the most common reason for skin cancer.
- If you live in place where year-round bright sunlight exists, then you are at a higher risk of getting skin cancer.
- If you are having too fair skin then also you are more likely to get skin cancer.
- Men are at a greater risk of getting basal skin cancer than women.
- Exposure to harmful chemicals can also increase the risk.
- If you have received radiation therapy or if you had any one of skin cancers, you are also at higher risk.
- HPV (human papilla virus) infection is also a cause of skin cancer.
Preventing basal cell skin cancer:
- To prevent this type of skin cancer, you need to limit the exposure to UV light and protect your skin with clothing, wear sun glasses, avoid exposure to harmful chemicals and also protect your children from these things.
- Minor surgeries can help to treat basal cell cancers. But surgeries can cause scars to develop at that place. The cells which cause cancers can be killed and frozen or by using a laser surgery they can be destroyed.
- Chemotherapy solutions are also used to kill the cells, among which 5-fluorouracil is the most common one. Some chemicals can be used to kill the cancer cell. They can be injected into the bloodstream or applied on the skin. The cancer cells become sensitive to these chemicals and after that light source can be used to kill them.
- Radiation therapy is good for those who cannot bear surgeries.
- Drinking coffee and practicing regular exercise can also prevent skin cancer in the individuals who have sun damaged skin. Coffee and exercise encourage the production of tumor blocking protein in the body which helps to prevent the condition.
- Exercise helps to lower the risk associated with melanoma-based skin cancers and some other forms of cancers like colon, breast, prostate, and liver cancers.
Squamous cell carcinoma:
This is a most common form of melanoma skin cancer. This condition is most common in kidney transplant patients than healthy individuals. This type of skin cancer can be easily treated and cured when confined to the skin.
Who will get squamous cell carcinoma?
- Individuals who have light skin and exposed greatly to sun light are at higher risk.
- People who are greatly exposed to radiation, X-rays, smoking, chemicals like arsenic and industrial oils.
- There is a greater chance to develop squamous cell skin cancer in chronic skin ulcers, burn scars and other scar tissues.
- People with suppressed immune system due to some medications or disease are prone to develop this type of skin cancer.
- Individuals who are exposed to indoor tanning devices which emit ultraviolet radiations can also get skin cancer.
- Smokers and tobacco users are also at a chance of getting squamous cell cancer of the lips and mouth.
Usually squamous cell carcinoma is confined to epidermis.
When it enters into the dermis then it will become invasive. Usually this type of skin cancer grows slowly, but in some cases it grows rapidly.
Squamous cell skin cancer can damage nearby tissues and also it spreads to the other parts of your body.
Most commonly you will observe this cancer on: ears, hands and lips.
If you are suspected with any of the above conditions, consult your doctor for checkup and examination of your entire body.
You can also check on your own to confirm your abnormal skin conditions. Check the areas of your arms, back, buttocks and shoulders.
Self screening for skin cancer:
Self checking of your body on your own is very much important for skin cancer treatment. Experts suggest self screening of one’s body once in a month is very important. Doing monthly skin self exams can greatly reduce the melanoma death rate.
You can use cancer screening methods like mammograms, pap smears and colonoscopy to determine the skin cancer. But these methods are cost effective.
Drugs that can cause skin cancer:
The drugs which are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and biological treatments for arthritis can increases the risk of skin cancers. High dosage arthritis drugs can increase your risk towards cancer development.
The drugs raise the risk of developing solid tumors on your skin. These drugs do not cause any additional risks other than melanoma.
The use of antioxidants do not protect you against skin cancers, instead they increase the risk particularly in women. Long-term use of supplements like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc can cause skin cancer.
In men, there is no difference in any types of cancer, but in women who receive antioxidants have higher risk for melanoma. Women who are at high risk of skin cancer can control their heart disease even after the use of antioxidants.
So, to protect yourself from getting skin cancer you need to be very careful about the above mentioned steps and along with them self-screening is essential.