Over 90% of skin cancer cases are manifesting themselves on those skin surfaces which are often exposed to sun’s rays or ultraviolet radiation. A skin cancer which is not malicious can also appear on the same type of surfaces. Malicious cancer of skin is usually positioned on the back in men and on legs in women. Other risk factors include genetic predisposition and too much exposure to roentgen rays and other types of radiation. Exposure to arsenic which can be present in some herbicides is another risk factor for developing skin cancer. There are three basic types of skin cancer or typical skin related diseases to speak of – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma.
Who Gets It?
Ultraviolet part of sun rays is the main cause for all types of skin cancers, including melanomas. Melanoma strikes people of all age, genders and races. This is the most common type of skin cancer for women in between 25 and 30 years of age and the second most common cancer for women in their early 30s. Melanomas can often develop from existing moles, but can also appear on healthy skin and in spots or other pigmented surfaces. It is believed that the excessive exposure to sun is 50-70% the main cause for melanoma to appear. On the other hand, this is not the only condition for melanoma to appear as it may also get on completely healthy and hidden skin parts. There are two types of moles, regular and atypical. 10-15% of Caucasian people have atypical moles.
Benign moles are often small, symmetric and in only one shade of brown, with rough edges. Malicious moles are usually bigger and have two or more shades of brown or black as well as irregular edges. If you notice such a mole anywhere on your body, it’s important to consult your doctor as this can serve as one of the first symptoms being showed by melanoma. However, melanoma can appear on the skin as a new mole as well. With men, melanoma is most commonly appearing on the trunk, or on head and neck. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) can develop as a small nodule on the skin which is smooth and waxy on touch. Squamous cell mole carcinomas often have a shell look to them.
Your doctor will plan skin cancer treatment based on different factors coming from your age and general health condition, type and size of the tumor as well as the location where the tumor has manifested. There are four major types of treatment – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and biological therapy. Surgery is the most common used type of treatment for this condition where you will get the cancer removed from your body physically. Often the skin is replaced with other skin coming from another part of your body. Chemotherapy can be done either by medication or intravenous solutions being injected into your blood stream. Radiation therapy includes using high doses of roentgen rays or other rays for killing cancer cells. Biological therapy uses your own body’s immunological system to battle with the cancer.