Encyclopedia

Skin cancer

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when normal skin cells begin to mutate and grow and multiply uncontrollably.

And as the cells multiply they form a mass called a tumor. Skin tumors are often called skin lesions.

Tumors are only cancerous if they are made up of malignant cells. This means that they invade the surrounding tissues due to their uncontrolled growth.

Tumors can also spread to other organs through the lymph and through the blood. This process of invasion and spread to other tissues and organs is called metastasis.

The tumors press the surrounding tissues by invading them and taking away the oxygen and nutrients they need, and this leads to the inability to perform their functions.

There are three types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma – affects sweat and sebaceous glands, amelanoma – however, it is not considered skin cancer.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

Common symptoms of skin carcinoma are the appearance of areas of skin without color, it is also characteristic of the appearance of lesions that have dark or black pigmentation and others skin changes that do not heal.

Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a slightly raised, smooth, colorless lump above the surrounding skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma is usually a red, scaly spot that is slightly raised above the surrounding skin.

Warning symptoms can be changes in the size, shape or color of the mole.

If a new mole appears in adulthood or pain, itching, bleeding or an ulcer in the mole itself, you must see a specialist.

What causes it?

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light – sunlight, is the most common cause of skin cancer.

Other causes of skin cancer can be:

  • Immunosuppression, which is damage to the immune system.
  • Exposure to unusually high levels of X-rays.
  • Contact with certain substances such as arsenic.

Treatment of skin cancer

Home treatment is not suitable for skin cancer. The disease requires treatment by a dermatologist or skin cancer specialist.

Be proactive in preventing and detecting skin cancer in you and your family. Have your skin examined by a dermatologist regularly and pay attention to any changes.

Avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight and, especially during the summer months, apply sunscreen daily.

Surgical removal of tumor tissue is among the ways to treat squamous and basal cell carcinoma. People who cannot undergo surgery are treated with radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy uses ionizing radiation as a small beam is directed at the malignant tumor cells. The radiation kills the abnormal cells and destroys the lesions.

Radiation therapy can cause irritation or burning of the surrounding healthy skin. The patient may feel tired after the therapy.

In the more advanced stages of the disease, chemotherapy can also be used. But this type of therapy is still in the clinical trial phase, that is, it has not yet been established that it is an effective way of treatment.

How to protect yourself from skin cancer?

To effectively protect yourself from skin cancer and maintain healthy skin throughout the year, additional steps and attention to your lifestyle are required.

In addition to the above tips, here are some other important aspects to prevent skin cancer and improve the health of your skin:

  1. Use the right type of sunscreen: Choosing the right sunscreen is essential. Choose a cream with broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays and with at least factor 30. In case of long-term exposure to strong sun, reapply the cream every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  2. Avoid tanning beds: Exposure of the skin to artificial ultraviolet rays from tanning beds can also increase the risk of skin cancer. They can be extremely harmful and cause an overestimation of the aging of the skin, as well as an increase in the risk of malignant formations.
  3. Check your skin regularly: Examining your skin is important to spot changes or unusual growths. If you notice new bumps, sores, pain or changes in the shape, color or size of your birthmarks, consult a dermatologist.
  4. Nourish yourself properly: A healthy nutritional diet affects the health of your skin. Maintain a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These substances can help protect your skin from the damaging effects of free radicals.
  5. Be careful in winter too: Although the winter sun may not be as intense, exposure to UV rays can still be harmful. Don’t forget to use sunscreen during the cold months as well.
  6. Moisturize: Keep your skin well hydrated. Proper hydration supports the elasticity and health of the skin, which can protect it from some types of damage.
  7. Avoid smoking: Not only is smoking bad for your overall health, it can also accelerate the aging process of the skin and increase your risk of developing cancer.
  8. Visit the dermatologist regularly: Regular visits to the dermatologist will help you monitor the health of your skin and detect potential problems at an early stage.

By combining the above tips with the measures described at the beginning of the text, you will have more control over your skin health and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

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