Most skin cancer symptoms begin in sun-exposed regions of the body. It’s most common on the face, chest, arms, and hands. It affects everyone. You may be at risk of skin cancer whether or not you’ve ever had a sunburn. It’s typically detected in People of Color at an advanced stage. This might be due to various reasons, including access to medical care, delay in detection, and presentation. There are few resources for detecting darkly pigmented tumors in People of Color because little research is available.
What is Skin Cancer?
The most commonly occurring cancer in people is skin cancer. One in every five develops it. It can occur anywhere on your body, but it is most likely to develop in sun-exposed areas, such as your face, neck, chest, arms, or hands. Skin cancer begins in the cells of your skin.
The three basic kinds of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
- Basel Cell carcinoma: It is the most common type of skin cancer, usually appearing as a small, painless bump on the skin. Basal cell carcinomas typically don’t spread to other parts of the body.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: It is the second most common type of skin cancer which appears as a small, scaly patch on the skin. However, Squamous cell carcinomas can spread to other body parts if left untreated.
- Melanoma: This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, usually appearing as a dark mole on the skin. However, melanomas can spread to other body parts if left untreated.
What Causes Skin Cancer?
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds causes skin cancers. UV radiation damages the DNA in your skin cells. This damage can lead to cell changes that cause them to grow out of control and form tumors. People with fair skin are more likely to develop skin cancer than people with darker skin because fair skin doesn’t protect against UV radiation and darker skin does. People of color can still develop skin cancer, though it is less common.
Different ways to Identify Skin Cancer Symptoms
There are several ways that you can identify skin cancer symptoms. First, it is important to be aware of any changes in your skin, including new growths or changes in existing moles.
In addition to being on the lookout for changes in your skin, you can also perform regular self-examinations. This involves using a hand mirror to carefully examine your skin from head to toe, looking for suspicious spots.
Another way to help identify skin cancer symptoms is to be familiar with the ABCDEs of melanoma. This stands for Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving. These characteristics can help you identify a potentially cancerous mole or growth.
If you find anything that looks concerning, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.
How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid exposure to UV radiation. You can do this by staying out of the sun, and wearing protective clothing and sunscreen.
If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, you must get treatment immediately. The earlier skin cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat. Treatment for skin cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
If you have any concerns about a possible skin cancer symptom, please consult with a doctor or dermatologist. Early detection is the key to successful treatment.
Treatment Options for Skin Cancer
Various skin cancer treatment methods are available, and the type of treatment recommended will depend on the type and stage of skin cancer. However, the most common skin cancer treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- Surgery: It is the most common treatment for skin cancer and is usually the first line of treatment. It involves removing the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, different surgical procedures such as Mohs micrographic surgery, excisional surgery, curettage, and electrodesiccation, may be used.
- Radiation therapy: This procedure uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It can be given externally, from a machine outside the body, or internally, from a device placed inside the body. Radiation therapy is usually given after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: It is a treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given intravenously or taken in pill form. Doctors often use it with other treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy.
“Targeted therapy” targets specific molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. These drugs work differently from traditional chemotherapy drugs and may cause less severe side effects.
- Immunotherapy: It’s a cancer treatment that helps the body’s immune system fight cancer.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid exposure to UV radiation. You can do this by staying out of the sun, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, getting immediate treatment is essential. If you have all the protective measures and still get skin cancer, don’t hesitate to start treatment as soon as possible. The earlier skin cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat. You need to consult with a doctor or dermatologist if you have any concerns about a possible skin cancer symptom.