Saturday, April 24, 2021

Skin Cancer - Causes and Treatment

Skin Cancer - Causes and Treatment:

Skin cancer is a disease which affects the outer layers of the skin where the cancerous cells occur. The occurrence of skin cancer has become more and more in the past few years maybe due to the depletion of the ozone layer which acts as a shield to the ultraviolet radiations. The main cause of skin cancer is the prolonged exposure of skin to sunlight, especially the ultraviolet radiations of the sun. There are four types of skin cancer namely:

  • Melanoma- a pigmented skin tumor that might become life-threatening.
  • Basal-Cell Carcinoma which is most common and destroys the tissues in the area.
  • Squamous cell Carcinoma is a rare type and this also destroys the tissues.
  • Bowen disease destroys the tissues only in the outer layer of the skin.

The causes of cancer in particular are unknown, but the UV radiations are mainly responsible for skin cancer. There are few risk factors that can increase the possibility of skin cancer in a person, such as fair skin and red or blonde hair, getting sunburns easily, being under the sun in younger age, having many moles or birthmarks, light colored eyes and hereditary factors also contribute to the risk of skin cancer.

The main symptoms of skin cancer include: increase in skin size and thickness, skin tan or discoloration or multicolored, or a mole that changes in texture or color, has irregular skin outline, changes color, causes itchy feeling or bleeds etc.

The way of treating cancer is probably only by the medical treatment. Various factors might be considered by the doctor to treat skin cancer, such as the location, size and the spreading of the cancer. Depending on these factors, there are three types of surgeries namely:

  • Electrodessication or cutterage which scrapes the skin with a curette i.e. a sharp spoon shaped end instrument. Electrodessication is used to control bleeding and kill cancerous cells using electric current from a special machine.
  • Conventional surgery involves the cutting of affected skin along with the healthy cells surrounding it and completely removing it.
  • Moh’s technique involves scraping off thin layers of skin each time till the entire cancerous cells are removed.

There are other types of non surgical treatments such as Cryosurgery, which involves freezing of cancerous cells; laser therapy, uses laser beam to destroy cancerous cells; dermabrasion, removing the top skin layer using a sophisticated machine. The best way to prevent cancer is avoiding long exposure to sunlight.

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