SKIN CANCER

Description

The abnormal growth of skin cells often develops on skin exposed to the sun.

Symptoms

  1. Asymmetrical – melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.
  2. Border – melanomas have a notched or ragged border.
  3. Colours – melanomas will be a mix of two or more colours.
  4. Diameter – melanomas are larger than 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter.
  5. Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma may appear as:

  1. A pearly or waxy bump
  2. A flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion

Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as:

  1. A firm, red nodule
  2. A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface

Melanoma signs include:

  1. A large brownish spot with darker speckles
  2. A mole that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds
  3. A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, white, blue or blue-black
  4. Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus

Causes

  1. UVB is thought to be the main cause of skin cancer
  2. Artificial sources of light, such as sunlamps and tanning beds
  3. family history

Risk Factors

  • pale skin that does not tan easily
  • red or blonde hair
  • blue eyes
  • older age
  • a large number of freckles
  • an area of skin previously damaged by burning or radiotherapy treatment
  • Precancerous skin lesions
  • medicines that suppress your immune system (immunosuppressants) – commonly used after organ transplants
  • exposure to certain chemicals – such as creosote and arsenic
  • a previous diagnosis of skin cancer
  • family history

Diagnostic Tests

  • Remove a sample of suspicious skin for testing (skin biopsy)
  • sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • physical examination
  • blood test
  • CT,MRI,PET,Ultrasound

Treatments

  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • surgery

Medications

  • vemurafenib
  • ipilimumab
  • nivolumab
  • anti-angiogenic drugs

Prevention

  • regular check ups
  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day
  • Apply sunscreen and lip balm every day with an SPF 30 or higher (year-round)
  • Avoid lying in the sun or using tanning devices.
  • Limit your sun exposure:
  • especially during the summer.
  • during peak hours—between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.— when the sun is harshest.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses.
  • Seek the shade.
  • Avoid getting sunburns