At the beginning of this article, let’s don the cassock cynic, but rather in a doctor’s white coat (great cynics difficult to
imagine, if not offended by my esteemed members of this profession) and a little fantasize. Imagine that on the grave untimely deceased person’s life to write his diagnosis or cause of death, then at least every 9-10 memorial would be written dreaded word “cancer.” Today in this article we will focus on skin cancer.
Immediately say, that is not the most common cancer, accounting falls something around 5% of all cases of cancer. But this form of cancer, unlike breast cancer or prostate cancer , no gender differences in charge, and equally affects both men and women, usually after 50 years.
Causes of skin cancer
Causes of skin cancer can be divided into external and internal.
The external reasons, provoking the emergence of skin cancer include:
- UV-radiation, including sunlight. Cancer can cause even a single but intense exposure to the heavenly body that is especially true in relation to this form of cancer, like melanoma. Most often it ill people under the scorching sun is not regular, but from time to time (for example, when an inveterate office worker is chosen on a beach holiday). In recent years, the impact of this factor, it is becoming crucial because increasing the scale of the destruction of the ozone layer, retarding ultraviolet rays. Another unfavorable in relation to the skin cancer site – solarium;
- Mechanical injury to the skin at the location of nevi (pigmented nevi);
- irradiation of fluorescent light fixtures (this factor is more of a speculation zone).
The internal causes (predisposing factors) of developing skin cancer include:
- race. “True Aryans” are more prone to skin cancer. Representatives of blacks in this sense, can sleep peacefully. At risk – blondes and those with fair skin, eyes and hair;
- poor condition of the immune system. Immune deficiency predisposes to skin cancer (and not only him). In this connection, a certain danger is a pregnancy in which the conditions for the rebirth of pigmented nevi;
- gender and age. For example, melanoma is most common in women, mainly in women, “Balzac” age;
- family history.
Precancerous skin diseases are obligantnymi, ie they eventually turn into necessarily cancer, or optional, transformed into cancer is not always, in this case the malignancy occurs depending on the disease and several other factors.
Obligantnye precancerous skin disease
Paget’s Disease – diagnosed in most cases in women over 60 years, but men are also susceptible to this disease. By the way, they are characterized by a more aggressive its manifestation. The disease is expressed in the development of a group of abnormal cells in the peripapillary area, less in other areas of the body, having the apocrine sweat glands: the skin of the penis in men, in women the vulva or perineum. According to statistics, more than 95% of people with Paget’s disease have breast cancer. Paget’s disease requires radical approaches to treatment.
Bowen’s disease. The disease is intraepidermal skin cancer occurs most often on the genitals in uncircumcised men between 40 and 70 years. Sometimes there is also at mucosal surfaces in the oral cavity. The disease manifests itself in the form of plaques of copper-red color with fuzzy edges scaly, prone to sprawl on the periphery.
Xeroderma pigmentosum – an extremely rare genetic disorder caused by an autosomal gene, which manifests itself in excessive sensitivity to sunlight. Due to the increased photosensitivity of the skin open areas formed spots, which further delayed the pigment, followed by a peeling and atrophy of the affected parts of the skin, which are transformed into malignant tumors.
Optional pre-cancerous skin diseases
Chronic dermatitis arising due to exposure to potent carcinogens, and the results of X-ray irradiation.
Cutaneous horn – thick convex neoplasm dark brown. Most often formed in middle and old age on the exposed skin.
Atheroma , warts and papillomas, subject to frequent mechanical stress.
Scars after syphilis, burns, lupus. Trophic ulcers.
Keratoacanthoma – a benign tumor that is most common in people older than 50 years on exposed skin: the face and head.
Senile dyskeratosis. Manifested in the form of gray keratinized layers of the skin or brown
Symptoms and signs of skin cancers in the early stages
There are a number of early signs of skin cancer – primary degeneration birthmark (nevus) in malignant side:
- increase in horizontal and vertical dimensions: starting issued over the surrounding tissues;
previously correct mole becomes asymmetrical and quirky takes on the outlines, sometimes – with ragged edges;
- discoloration, local depigmentation;
- itching and burning in the area of moles;
- irritation of the skin on the mole until the appearance of small ulcers; weeping wet surface moles, sometimes bleeding;
- if there was a nevus scalp – his loss;
- peeling of the surface to form a mole of dry cortex;
- small spot seals on the mole;
- the appearance of moles in the neighborhood;
- changing the state of aggregation nevus – its softening or, on the contrary, the seal;
- suspiciously shiny surface of a mole;
- the disappearance of the skin with the pattern surface of a mole.
Types of skin cancer
There are 4 types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma or basal cell skin cancer
The name of the place was its “growth” – the basal layer of the epidermis. This tumor is deprived of the ability to
metastasize and recurrence. Its migration is mainly aimed at tissue depth with their imminent destruction.
About 8 out of 10 of all skin cancer cases belong to this type.
This is the least dangerous of all types of skin tumors. Exceptions are those cases where the basal cell carcinoma located on the face or ears: in such circumstances it can reach impressive volumes, affecting the nose, eyes, and damage the brain. The most common in the elderly.
Squamous cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma
This type of skin cancer occurs in the deeper skin layers – including keratinocytes. He is prone to aggressive growth
and metastasis to lymph nodes and internal organs. Not always develops in the open areas of the body sometimes
can occur, for example, in the mouth.
Cancer of the skin appendages.
Malignant neoplasm localized in the sebaceous and sweat glands and hair follicles. A very rare form of skin cancer. The clinical picture is identical to squamous cancer. An accurate diagnosis is established after histological examination.
is a highly aggressive tumor as the skin that develops from pigment cells – melanocytes. Melanoma is subject to extremely rapid metastasis, for which already can not be influenced. Outwardly resembles pigmented stain blue-black or pink color. The start of its development can be an ordinary mole.
In some rather rare cases, this type of cancer can develop in the conjunctiva or other structures of the eye, on the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, rectum, and possibly the vagina.
According to statistics, 1% of the total number of cancer accounts for melanoma.
Diagnosis of skin cancer
First oncologist scrutinizes birthmark under a magnifying glass. Then, if the patient is subjected to suspicion radioisotope research. In cancer, the accumulation of radioactive phosphorus damaged skin area is 300-400% compared with normal skin. “The gold standard” of research on skin cancer is cytology prints with ulcers or a small amount of tissue taken from the tumor. Another common technique – biopsy, when a piece of the tumor with excision for clarity capture portion of healthy tissue.
Metastases are identified with the help of ultrasound and computed tomography.
Skin Cancer Stages
According to the standard classification are 4 stages of skin cancer. At the initial stage of skin cancer tumors less than 2 cm, the second – no more than 5. For the third stage, in addition to tumor size greater than 5 cm are characteristic of metastasis to nearby lymph nodes. 4th stage – is almost finish: metastases affect muscle, bone, cartilage.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Treatment of skin cancer, one way or another, connected with surgery. Objectively, the surgical removal of the tumor – the most effective treatment option that allows you to not only survive, but also to avoid the return of tumors. Surgery to remove the tumor is its excision and removal of surrounding lymph nodes (unless, of course, they are subjected to shock). After a successful surgery or radiation prescribed medication, or even all at once.
Radiation therapy – exposure of the skin area where the tumor was located. It allows you to destroy any cancer cells that remain after surgery. On average, the patient is irradiated for 3-4 weeks.
Drug treatment of skin cancer (himioterpiya) involves the use of various drugs that target both the destruction of tumor cells, and to improve the overall immunity of the organism. By the way, to chemotherapy for skin cancer rarely resort.
The probability of a favorable outcome of skin cancer is relatively high (this does not apply to melanoma). The only thing – even in the advanced stages of the operation does not always help. Unfortunately, skin cancer recurrences are frequent, especially after errors in the radiation therapy or with incomplete removal of the tumor.
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