Skin Cancer Treatment, Screening, Diagnosis and Prevention Measures
Defined as the abnormal growth and development of skin cells, Skin Cancer is a type of disease where malignant cancer cells develop on the upper layer of the skin. If left untreated or unattended to by any of the many dermatologists, skin cancer can lead to death. Currently, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world, with millions of people contracting the disease each year. In the US alone, one million cases were reported last year while statistics indicate that this year the figure could escalate. To learn more about what a dermatologist can do to treat skin care, visit www.dermatologyandsurgery.com.
What are the common causes of skin cancer?
Exposure to unfiltered ultra violet radiation from the earth’s sun is currently the main cause of skin cancer. As a form of energy, ultra violet radiations are invisible to the human eye and may require specialized devices to be detected and filtered. Basically there are two types of ultra violet radiations i.e. UVA and UVB. The Ultra Violet A is the type of radiations that are usually responsible for sunburns, tans and the production of vitamin D while on the other hand, Ultra-Violet radiation B is the one that causes cancer. Apart from ultraviolet radiations there are other factors that may put an individual at risk of contracting skin cancer. These factors include;
· Exposure to the sun for long hours i.e. work related reasons, research and many others
· History of skin cancer within your family lines
· Possessing light colored eyes.
· Area of residence especially those with very hot summers i.e. Cincinnati, Ohio
· Fair skin or lack of skin pigment i.e. melanin
What are the main types of skin cancer?
Basically there are three main types of skin carcinoma, with each type of cancer named after the cell type from which they originate.
Basal cell carcinoma
Apart from being the most common type of skin cancer, Basal cell carcinoma is the least dangerous type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a scaly area or a lamp on this skin and account for a 70 percent of all the skin cancers cases reported. As they grow they tend to be ulcerated like a wound or sore that seems not to heal. The growth rate of a basal cell carcinoma is usually slow and it is usually found around the neck, head and upper torso.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomas are usually less common when compared to basal cell carcinomas. Since they are less common in comparison to squamous cell carcinomas, they account for only 25 percent of all skin cancer cases. If left untreated or unattended to by dermatologists, squamous cell carcinomas have the potential of spreading to the other body parts. Like the basal carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma usually appears as a red, thickened scaly spots that may bleed easily or become ulcerated. See more at http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?cdrid=46595.
As the most dangerous type of skin cancer, melanoma’s account for a total of 5 per cent of skin cancer cases. Melanomas usually appears as an existing spot, new spot or a mole which may change in size, color and shape. Basically a melanoma may grow within weeks or months and may be located on any part of the body. If untreated, the cancer cells may end up spreading to the other body parts.
Why contact a dermatologist
Diagnosis and screening of skin cancer
By using a dermoscope, a dermatologist will be able to examine and screen your skin carefully so as to establish as to whether you have contracted skin cancer. The dermoscope is a specialize device that has the aptitude of magnifying the skin hence allowing dermatologists to have a better look at the structures and pigments of your skin. If any of the three types of skin cancer is detected, the dermatologists will conduct a biopsy where the infected part may be removed as a whole or as apart.
Treatment of cancer
Depending on the results of the diagnosis, a dermatologist will be able to select the right treatment for the issue at hand. Depending on the type of the cancer, its appearance, aggressiveness and the stage a dermatologist will be able to choose one or more skin cancer treatments.
· Surgical treatment
· Radiation therapy
· Photo-dynamic therapy
So as to prevent yourself from contracting skin cancer, you will be required to protect yourself from ultra violet radiations all year long. In the United States the most dangerous exposure hours are between 10 am and 4 pm in the evening. So as to fully protect yourself from UV radiations you will be required to observe the following at all times.
· Wear sunglasses
· Avoid indoor tanning at all costs
· Put a hat on at all times
· Use lots of sunscreen
· Put on clothes that will cover your arms and legs completely.