Do you know which is the largest organ of your body? Your mind would just go here and there. The chances are high that you might not know or have realized it beforehand. The answer to the question is your skin is the largest organ of the body. It is the first line of defense for your body that protects against various microbes, shock, and trauma.
Normally, your skin sheds and grows- a process that we do not even know when it happens. But sometimes, it might replicate uncontrollably- leading to skin cancer. Here, we will talk about skin cancer. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, you must attend follow-up visits with the healthcare provider. To get an expert opinion, you can visit the Dermatologist in Karachi.
When skin cells grow and multiply uncontrolled, it gives rise to skin cancer. Normally, the death of damaged and old skin cells causes the production of new skin cells. However, when this process gets interrupted, skin cells grow uncontrollably, leading to skin cancer.
What Are The Types Of Skin Cancer?
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
What Are The Causes Of Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer can be caused because of the following reasons.
- Overexposure to Sunlight
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage DNA in your skin, which causes abnormal cells to form in your skin. These abnormal cells form a mass of cancer cells. Therefore it is common for people who sunbathe for a long time. So, if you do the same, make sure to protect your skin and take it in moderation so it does not harm your skin.
- Contact with chemicals
Another important cause of skin cancer is frequent skin contact with certain chemicals, such as tar and coal.
- Genetic alterations
Many genetic mutations also increase the risk of skin cancers.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer?
The most common sign of skin cancer is a change in your skin, like a new growth or a change in an existing growth or mole.
The signs and symptoms of different types of skin cancers vary widely.
Signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include:
- Formation of a small, soft bump on the face, ears, and neck.
- A flat, pink/red- or brown-colored lesion on the chest or arms and legs.
- Regions on the skin that look like scars.
- Sores that appear crusty have a depression in the middle and bleed often.
Signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include:
- A firm pink or red nodule
- A rough, scaly lesion that might itch, bleed and become crusty
Signs and symptoms of melanoma include:
- A brown-pigmented patch or bump.
- A mole that changes in color or size or that bleeds.
How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed?
To diagnose skin cancer, your dermatologist may take a brief history from you related to the changes you noticed on your skin. The next step is an examination where your dermatologist will examine your skin, including your scalp, ears, palms of your hands, soles of your feet, between your toes, around your genitals, and between your buttocks.
If you have any of these symptoms, please visit the healthcare provider soon. Do not delay it.
For any suspicious skin lesion, the doctors might perform a biopsy where they examine your skin cells under the microscope.
What Is The Management and Treatment of Skin Cancer?
Sometimes a biopsy alone can remove all the cancer tissue from your skin if the cancer is small and limited to your skin’s surface.
Other skin cancer treatments include:
- Excisional surgery
- Mohs surgery
- Curettage and electrodesiccation
- Chemotherapy and immunotherapy
- Radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
How To Prevent Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is preventable in most cases. Following are the ways to protect yourself from skin cancer:
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher wherever you go out in the sun.
- Wear hats to protect your face and ears.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight.
- Use a lip balm with sunscreen.
- Try to avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm
- Avoid tanning beds. Instead, use a spray-on tanning product.
- Stop taking medicine that makes our skin more sensitive.
- Look for any changes in size, shape, or color of skin growths or the development of new skin spots.
The Bottom Line
Skin cancer is a condition in which your skin cells replicate uncontrollably. If you have any suspicious growth on your skin, you must consult a healthcare provider soon. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a Dermatologist in Lahore.