Types, Symptoms and Treatment of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers that affects individuals throughout the world. Like all other types of cancer, it is better to diagnose this condition early. This is because early diagnosis and treatment could mean the difference between life and death. Unfortunately, most people do not know the types or symptoms of this type of cancer and they always realize that they have the disease when it is too late.
There are three main types of skin cancer based on the layer of the skin that the cancer affects. The first type is Basal cell carcinoma or BCC which attacks the basal cells of the epidermis. The second type is the Squamous cell carcinoma or SCC which affects the epidermal layer of the skin. The third and most dangerous type is the melanoma which affects the melanocytes present in the lower part of the epidermal layer.
The symptoms of cancer also vary depending on the type of cancer. Sometimes, the individual may notice a scaly patch on their skin which is itchy or very uncomfortable. Such patches are usually more common in areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight most of the time. These patches may sometimes begin to bleed or develop into an ulcer. Such a symptom should never be ignored as this could be the early stages of SCC cancer development. Anyone who notices this on their skin should quickly visit a hospital in order to ensure that the ulcer is treated before cancer develops.
A symptom of BCC cancer is the development of lumps and bumps on the skin which become infected. These bumps may form crusts that begin to bleed and this could be a sign of cancer development. The patient should not hesitate to visit a doctor as soon as they notice these symptoms so that they can begin treatment immediately.
Melanoma is the severest form of skin cancer and it can prove to be deadly. One of the earliest symptoms of this cancer is the development of a mole on the skin. These moles may be brownish or red in color. An individual who already had a mole on their skin may notice that the asymmetry, border, color or even the diameter of the mole has changed. The area around may become itchy or painful and this should be a cause for concern. If there is redness, itchiness or tenderness around skin markings, the individual should visit a practitioner in order to rule out the onset of cancer.
Treatment of cancer also depends on the type of skin cancer that the patient is suffering from. SCC and BCC are less severe and they are not likely to spread to other organs in the body. Therefore, the individual can be able to receive localized treatment that will help them to get rid of the cancer cells. However, melanoma is quite severe and the treatment is more systematic. This is because melanoma is very dangerous and there is usually a chance that the cancer will spread to other internal cells and organs in the body. However, for all types of cancer, the patient who is able to get to a doctor during the early stages will have a better chance of treatment. Therefore, individuals should take note of the symptoms so that they can stop the development of cancer cells before they take over their skin.