You are currently viewing Skin cancer

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most seen cancer type above all. To protect yourself from skin cancer, it is necessary to protect yourself from the sun. Overexposure to the sun (especially second-degree sunburn with blistering, including tanning) is the main cause of skin cancer. Less important factors are repeated medical and industrial X-ray exposure, skin conditions that heal by burning or scarring, occupational exposure to coal tar or arsenic-containing substances, and a family history of skin cancer. People with fair skin who are more likely to get sunburn have a higher risk. Since sun rays are the most important cause of skin cancer, the most important protective measure is to avoid the sun.

Protect yourself from the sun between 10:00 and 16:00, the hours when the sun reaches the earth’s steepest. During the hours when the sun reaches the earth’s surface, your shadow is shorter than your own height. Wear light-colored, tightly woven protective clothing and a wide hat. Use sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. A person who gets sunburned after being in the sun for 20 minutes can stay in the sun for 15 times longer (300 minutes) without burning when using a sunscreen with SPF 15. However, one should not stay too long in the sun by using sunscreen creams. Because sun rays such as UVA, which are responsible for the skin’s immune system and skin aging, can reach the skin even though sunscreens are available.

Start using sunscreen in childhood because 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs under the age of 18. Babies under 6 months should not be exposed to the sun for a long time, if they will stay, sunscreens should be used.

Early diagnosis is the most important first step in definitive treatment.

Examine your skin periodically. If your moles have changes in growth, discoloration of your skin and non-healing wounds, consult a Dermatology Specialist as soon as possible.

Precancerous skin findings

Actinic keratoses are small, scaly patches found on the face, back of the hands and arms of light-skinned people who have been overexposed to sunlight. If left untreated, it can turn into skin cancer. If it is caught at an early stage, it can be removed with ice therapy, creams or lotions containing chemotherapy drugs can be used, chemical peeling, dermabrasion, laser therapy or classical surgery can be treated. Sunscreens prevent the development of actinic keratosis.

Types of skin cancer:

There are three types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma—This type of cancer usually appears as small fleshy bumps on the skin, often on the face, neck, and backs of the hands. It can occasionally be seen as red patchy areas on the trunk. It is more common in fair-skinned people. People with this cancer have fair skin, colored eyes and are prone to sunburn. These tumors do not spread quickly. It takes months and years for them to reach 1-2 cm in size. If not treated; the cancerous area begins to bleed and crust over. It heals from time to time and recurs from time to time. Although this type of cancer rarely metastasizes (spread to other organs), it can spread to the bone under the skin and destroy tissue near the cancerous tissue.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma – This skin cancer can present as raised bumps or red crusted sores on the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of cancer in fair-skinned people. It typically occurs on the ears, face, lips, and mouth. Rarely, it can be seen in dark-skinned people. It can create large audiences. Unlike basal cell carcinoma, it can spread to other organs. The cure rate is high when caught early. Treatment success in basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is 95%.

Melanoma – The most deadly of all skin cancers. As in basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, early diagnosis increases the chance of treatment in melanoma.

Melanoma begins in cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment called melanin (the substance that gives skin its color). Melanin gives color to our skin and partially protects it from the sun. Melanoma cells continue to produce melanin and therefore the area of ​​cancer is brown or black. But melanoma can also be white or red.

Melanoma must be treated as it has the ability to spread. Melanoma can grow rapidly without attracting attention. It usually appears as a mole or on or near a brown mole. You should be aware of the placement and shape of the moles on your body so that you can notice the changes and new moles appearing on them. The most important step you can take is to be examined by a dermatologist immediately when you detect any changes in your moles. In this way, the melanoma in your skin is caught while it is in the curable stage. Avoiding excessive sun exposure, especially sunburn, is the best way to prevent melanoma in fair-skinned people. Melanoma is also hereditary. People with a family history of melanoma are at greater risk. Those with unusual moles, those with multiple moles are at high risk for melanoma.

Having dark skin does not eliminate the risk of melanoma. Dark-skinned people can also develop melanoma, especially on the palms, soles, nail beds and mouth.

Findings that may cause suspicion of melanoma include crusting, bleeding, oozing, blistering, protrusion into the surrounding skin, itching, tenderness and pain.

How are skin cancers diagnosed?

A skin biopsy makes the diagnosis of cancer. It increases the chances of early diagnosis and surgical treatment.
Dermatologists draw attention to the importance of personal skin examination in order to detect cancer early. Observe freckles, moles, and dark areas on your skin for changes in size, shape, and color. Consult a Dermatology Specialist when you detect any changes.

Findings of Melanoma

Asymmetry – One side of the mole being different from the other. Draw an imaginary line through the middle of the mole. Are both sides of the mole the same size and shape? Melanoma often has asymmetry.

Boundary Irregularity– The border or edge of the melanoma is usually jagged, notched, or blurred.

Colour – Benign moles can be any color, but are usually monochromatic. Melanoma often contains more than one color.

Size – Benign moles remain small, while melanoma continues to grow. It is usually larger than 6 millimeters in diameter.

Periodic examination that you will do yourself is the most powerful weapon to protect yourself from melanoma and other skin cancers. Melanoma can only be cured if caught early. By following the order given below, you can do your entire skin examination yourself, without skipping any part. To do your own skin examination, you need a full-length hand mirror and a lighted room.

Examine the front and back of your torso, as well as the right and left sides of your torso with your arms raised in front of a mirror.
Bend your arm at the elbow and look carefully at your palms, inner forearm, and upper arm.
Then look at the back of your legs, the feet, between the toes and the soles of the feet.
Examine your scalp with a hand mirror by raising your hair at the back of the neck.