Skin Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. Unlike other cancers, it doesn’t have the risk of spreading to other body parts and hence is less threatening. It occurs due to the development of un-repaired DNA that start damaging skin cells, triggering mutations and genetic defects, which leads the rapid and uncontrolled growth of skin cells with malignant tumors.
Types of skin cancer
Two major types of skin cancers known are “basal cell carcinoma” and “squamous cell carcinoma”. There is one more type known as “melanoma” but that is not so common and less risky as well.
Symptoms & Causes
In case of skin cancers, you can easily see if your skin is going through some abnormal changes. In most of the cases, skin cancer is easily visible where it is occurring so you can consult any dermatologist or health care professional, if some suspicious abnormalities are observed. The only cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV (Ultraviolet) radiation. Skin cancer depends on two factors: total lifetime of a person’s exposure to UV and pattern of radiation during the exposure. Studies also reveal that if you had skin damages in childhood, then exposure to UV in adulthood will trigger those damaged skin cells to turn cancerous.
Your doctor can have a look at your skin and can easily predict if you have skin cancer. However, just seeing will not be enough to make the decision, the doctor needs to perform some tests such as to decide if the behavior of your skin changes are that of skin cancer. Furthermore, he might take some sample of your skin to determine the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer. These results of the present complications will help him to select the treatment procedure.
Several treatments can be used to cure skin cancer, depending on the signs and symptoms, severity of the cancer and overall health condition of the patient.
Surgery: Surgery is the primary treatment for all kinds of skin cancers where the affected area is completely removed through operation, under local anesthetic to the patient.
Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy will be used if you are not able to adopt surgery, however, if there are chances of skin cancer coming back then radiotherapy is provided after surgery. High energy radio waves are used in this treatment to destroy the cancerous cells completely.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is preferred if the cancer is being spread to a large portion. Certain tablets and injections are given to relieve the symptoms and reduce the growth of abnormal cells.
Immunotherapy: interferon is given to strengthen the body’s immune system to fight the cancer cells.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT): This is a new type of treatment where special light exposure to the skin is given to destroy the cancer cells.
During surgery, the skin needs to be removed, which gives you wound. There are chances of wound being infected or continuous bleeding after the surgery. Many a times, medicines may also have the adverse effect on the patient health. After the stitches are removed, the wound may reopen which can again be infected.
Post Operative Care
After surgery the patient needs to be in regular supervision under the doctor and follow below points:
- Should get a balanced diet and plenty of rest.
- Alcohol should be completely avoided during the healing period.
- Prolonged exposure to sun should be avoided, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Apply sunscreen properly and regular examination of the skin should be performed.
- Quit smoking as it reduces the healing process and increase chances of complications.
- Make yourself comfortable with walking as it will reduce the swelling and prevent blood clots.