A skin cancer diagnosis can be devastating for anyone. Fortunately, due to modern technology, there are many treatments and cures for skin cancer. There are several types of skin cancer but luckily, they are curable and treatable if caught early. Failure to catch this cancer early can result in cancer spreading and even death. 

Various factors contribute to skin cancer. Those that are more susceptible to skin cancer are light eyed or fair-skinned and have a family history, but it can affect people of all races and skin colour. Those that have a weakened immune system, past treatments with radiation, and a history of sunburn can also be a factor. 

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Types of Skin Cancer

There are several types of cancer, but the two that are most common are called basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type. Nearly all skin cancers are basal cell-related. 

This cancer is thought to be caused by overexposure to the sun through certain areas that are more exposed such as the face or arms. While basal cell carcinoma is the least risky type because of its slow growth and doesn’t usually spread to the rest of the body, it’s still not wise to leave untreated as it can affect tissues and bones in the surrounding areas.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the 2nd most common type of skin cancer. Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma is thought to be caused by damaged areas of skin due to UV rays because of overexposure to the sun. Unlike basal cell carcinoma, it can spread into other areas of the body and skin if not caught early enough. 

While melanoma is the least common of skin cancer types, it’s the deadliest form. Melanoma forms from melanocytes. These cells are responsible for giving your skin it’s tan colour by producing melanin. Melanin protects the skin from its harmful effects. Tumours can appear at any part of the skin but are more common to start in the legs of a woman and the chest and back in men. 

Those that are of a darker pigment have less of a chance of developing melanomas in the common areas, but it can appear on your feet, hands, and even under your nails. If not caught early, this cancer is deadliest because of its ability to spread to the rest of the body quickly. 

Symptoms

Your skin can appear to have patches of what looks like eczema, waxy feeling with a skin-coloured growth like a scar, sores, and dome-shaped skin growths. Squamous cell carcinoma shows up through a rough bump or lump that will grow over time and can become crusty or bleed, reddish scaly patches, sores that don’t heal or heals and comes back. Melanoma can appear through sores, moles that change in size and color, and changes in skin sensations.

Treatments and Cures

Treatments for skin cancer will vary based on which type you have and how advanced it is. Treatments include surgery to cut out the affected area, freezing the cells and removing the dead tissue, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy using your body’s immune system to kill cells, photodynamic therapy which uses lasers and drugs to destroy cells by making them weak to light, and Moh’s surgery in which your skin is removed by layers until the cells until no more cancer cells remain.