Skin Cancer

What Is Skin Cancer?

The cancer which is caused due to uncontrolled growth of skin cells is referred as the skin cancer. These abnormal cells have an ability to spread to other body parts. This type of cancer is generally observed on the skin area or the region which is more exposed to the sun. There are few cases where this cancer also affects the skin area that is not exposed to the sun.

Types of Skin Cancer

The most common types of skin cancer are:

  1. Basal cell carcinoma.
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma.
  3. Melanoma carcinoma.

Among these three types of skin cancers, Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancers which are commonly known as non-melanoma. Melanoma is rare skin cancer and more dangerous than other types of cancer.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell or Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer with a lesser element of danger. They are abnormal cells that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which are present in the deepest layer of the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma would appear like open sores, scars, red patches with pink growths. They are usually caused due to the intensive and constant exposure to the sun rays, especially the ultraviolet rays. This is non-contagious cancer.

Causes of Basal cell carcinoma:

This skin cancer is caused due to the exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of Basal skin carcinoma. DNA present in the skin cells is damaged when ultraviolet rays hit the skin. These DNA contains specific codes that control the growth of the cells. If DNA is damaged, then it leads to basal cell cancer.

Symptoms of Basal cell carcinoma:

This type of skin cancer usually develops especially on those parts of the body which are frequently exposed to the sun. Tumors can develop on the face, ears, shoulders, neck, scalp, and arms.

Basal cell carcinoma are typically painless. The only symptom is the growth or change in the appearance of the skin.

Risk Factors of Basal cell carcinoma:

  1. The family history of skin cancer.
  2. Exposure to ultraviolet rays and other radiations.
  3. Usage of drugs that suppress the immune system.
  4. Men are more susceptible to this disease than women.
  5. This disorder attacks the old peoples within the age of 50-60 or above.
  6. People with light skin are more affected than people with a darker complexion.

Treatment for Basal cell carcinoma:

There are several treatments available for basal cell skin cancer that mainly depends on the location, type, and severity of the disease. Following are the lists of few commonly used treatments for Basal cell carcinoma:

  1. Affected cells or tissues are removed through surgery.
  2. Cancer cells are killed by freezing in liquid nitrogen.
  3. Application of ointments or creams on scars and patches.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Squamous cell skin cancer is also known as Squamous cell carcinoma. This disorder results from the abnormal growth of unwanted cells in squamous cells. Squamous cell is the uppermost lining of the epidermis. Though it is not a life-threatening disease, it should be treated properly as this could lead to other serious symptoms.

Causes of Squamous cell carcinoma:

This skin cancer is caused due to the DNA damage. New cells are generated and old cells are pushed outside forming a rough patch on the skin. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of this disorder.

Symptoms of Squamous cell carcinoma:

  1. Open sores on the skin.
  2. Red patches on the skin.
  3. Red sore inside the mouth or on the ears.

Risk Factors of squamous cell carcinoma:

  1. Long-term exposure to UV radiation.
  2. Living in sunny regions or at a high altitude.
  3. Being exposed to chemicals, such as arsenic.
  4. Having fair skin with light-colored hair and blue, green, or gray eyes.
  5. A history of multiple severe sunburns, especially if they occurred early in life.

Treatment for Squamous cell carcinoma:

Squamous cells carcinoma could be completely removed through surgery. Treatments depend upon the location, size, and severity of the disease. Few treatments of squamous cell carcinoma are:

  1. Freezing.
  2. Medications.
  3. Laser therapy.
  4. Cryotherapy and curettage
  • Melanoma carcinoma:

Melanoma is the rarest and dangerous type of skin cancer. It develops in cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes produce melanin which is responsible for skin color. The exact reason for melanoma is not yet found. Younger women (under the age of 35- 40) are more prone to this disease.

Causes of Melanoma carcinoma:

The exact cause of Melanoma carcinoma is not clear . Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight increases the risk of developing melanoma. Limiting your exposure to UV radiation can help reduce your risk of melanoma.

Symptoms of Melanoma carcinoma:

This skin cancer can develop anywhere on the human body such as legs, arms, and face. Few visible symptoms are:

  1. Change in existing mole.
  2. Change in the sensation.
  3. Unusual growth of the skin.
  4. Appearance of new spot on the skin.

Risk factors for Melanoma carcinoma:

There are several factors that can make you more likely to develop melanoma, which include:

  1. Using tanning beds.
  2. Having a personal or family history of melanoma.
  3. Having fairer skin or large amount of moles on your body.
  4. Living in locations with more sunlight, such as Florida, Hawaii, or Australia.
  5. Getting sunburned frequently, especially if the sunburn was severe enough to cause your skin to blister.

Treatment for Melanoma carcinoma:

Treatment of melanoma generally depends on the severity of the disease. Following are the treatments available for melanoma.

  1. Chemotherapy.
  2. Affected melanocytes are removed through surgery.
  3. Immunotherapy is used to treat melanoma. IMLYGIC, OPDIVO, KEYTRUDA, and ZELBORAF are Immunotherapy treatment approved by the FDA to treat melanoma skin cancer.

Stay tuned with Byju’s to learn more about cancer, skin cancer, and common types of cancers.

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