Treatment Should Begin At The First Signs Of Skin Cancer
If skin cancer is detected early, it can sometimes be removed through simple outpatient surgery. This common disease can be detected in its early stages because it appears on the patient’s skin, and if early warnings are taken advantage of, difficult treatments with severe side effects may not be necessary. Familiarize yourself with the first signs of skin cancer, and check your skin for irregularities that may require you to see a doctor.
The consequences of skin cancer are much more severe if it is not detected in its early stages. It can spread through the lymphatic system, forcing patients to have nearby lymph nodes surgically removed. This can cause slight dysfunction in the lymphatic system and impair mobility or cause general discomfort. A tumor in advanced stages of development may metastasize, and removing local lymph nodes can prevent further spreading. When a tumor metastasizes, other tumors can grow in other organs in the body, but they will be made up of the same squamous, basal, or melanocyte cells as the original skin cancer which has spread. This condition will require additional forms of therapy, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or additional surgeries to remove new tumors.
If detected early, skin cancer can be surgically removed, and if it hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, removal and possibly topical radiation or chemotherapy will get rid of the tumor and prevent regrowth.
Just like a breast examination, it is recommended that you regularly perform a skin self-examination. Look over your skin, including the your scalp and between your toes, and check for anything unusual that may require a doctor’s review.
You should examine and keep track of your moles, also known as nevi. These are benign melanocyte growths, stemming from the cells which pigment your skin. Moles are very common growths, and most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their skin. If you have a significantly higher number of nevi, this is considered a melanoma risk factor and you should be especially vigilant, making regular skin examinations and checking for new moles or changes in existing moles. If you have dysplastic nevi, which are moles which have an odd or asymmetrical shape, you should pay special attention to any changes they may undergo. If the shape or color of a dysplastic nevus changes or if the skin around it becomes red or irritated, you should consult a doctor.
Rashes and wounds that do not heal may be signs of squamous or basal cell cancer, as may be red or waxy lumps.
If you recognize the first signs of skin cancer and have a doctor review any suspicious irregularities, you can effectively stop skin cancer in its early stages and fully recover.