About 39.6% of men and women will be faced with a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. One of the more common types of cancer is skin cancer. Skin cancer originates from the cells of the epidermis and is a destructive growth of the skin. Fortunately, most skin cancers are highly treatable with skin cancer treatment methods and do not spread to other parts of the body. It is important to know what signs and symptoms to look for.
While there are many different types of skin cancer, there are three main types:
Basal cell carcinoma: This type of cancer is generally formed in sun-exposed areas of the body. This is the most common form of cancer and can appear as a pearly or waxy bump or a flat, flesh-colored lesion. Generally, this type of cancer is found on the face or neck.
Squamous cell carcinoma: Those diagnosed with this type of cancer are often immunosuppressed people. And like basal cell carcinoma, it’s commonly found on areas exposed to sunlight. This cancer can appear as a firm, red nodule or a flat, scaly lesion.
Melanoma: Melanoma can be found anywhere on the body and can even form in an existing mole. Because it can form in existing moles, it’s important people look for moles that change size, color, or feel. It can also form as a large brown spot with speckles or a lesion with red, white, or blue-black borders.
There are several other less common types of skin cancer. It is important to be aware of any changing spots, moles, or other marks on the body.
Physicians are able to diagnose cancer by conducting a skin examination. In most cases, a simple visual inspection is enough to determine if a mark is cancerous or not. In other cases, a skin biopsy is used to diagnose skin cancer. This is done by taking a small portion of the affected area and it is examined under a microscope for diagnosis.
Once skin cancer has been diagnosed, a cancer specialist will determine the best course of skin cancer treatment. One of the most common treatment options is the removal of the affected area. Other cases may call for topical medications that tell the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. A third common option is cancer radiation treatment, which uses high doses of radiation to attack the tumor.
A skin cancer diagnosis can be very scary. But with the right doctor and skin cancer treatment method, many skin cancers can be eliminated.
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