Skin Cancer – Everything You Need to Know!

As people spend more time outdoors, including sitting for long periods in the sun to tan or sunbathe, they also expose themselves to skin cancer. While it’s not always clear, many of these cases are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. The sun is mighty and damages our skin every day without us realizing it until it is too late. You can consult a Franklin dermatologist center to know about skin cancer so that it can be detected as soon as possible and cured at the earliest.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are three types of skin cancers: melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

  1. Melanomas are the most severe type of skin cancer because they can be deadly. They start in the cells that produce color (melanin) in your skin. These cells grow abnormally, and you can see them in or under your skin when you look closely with a magnifying glass (dermoscopy).
  2. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer that starts on the head, neck, hands, or feet. It’s also one of the more preventable cancers. If you get regular sun exposure (at least 30 minutes per day) and avoid tanning booths, you can lower your cancer risk by 80%.
  3. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer (after melanoma). It starts on the surface of your skin in thin, flat layers called papillae. These papillae are covered in tiny bumps that have a variety of colors ranging from pink to brown to red to blue.

What are the Symptoms:

  • Patches of red or irritated skin
  • Small, bump-like, or raised areas of skin
  • Multiple lesions, especially spots that are red, scaly, crusty, or painful
  • Itching or irritation of the skin
  • Open sores, blisters, and ulcers on the skin

What are the causes?

Some leading causes of skin cancer are:

  1. Sunburn (sunlight)- The sun’s UV rays cause damage to your skin’s cells and DNA
  2. A mutation in the MC1R gene (Melanoma Gene), caused by sun exposure.
  3. Sunblock used too often or not enough 
  4. Damaging sun exposure that occurs during vacations or extended periods outside without wearing protective clothing

Treatment

Treatment of skin cancer includes:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy 
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • Immunotherapy (using your own body’s immune system to fight cancer) 

Early detection and prevention is the best way to treat skin cancer and save lives. It’s essential to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible and use sunscreen daily, especially if you plan on spending time under the sun for an extended period.

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