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Skin cancer is the most prevalent of all types of cancers.
Fair-skinned individuals who sunburn easily are at a particularly high risk for developing skin cancer. Other important risk factors include use of tanning devices, family history, repeated medical and industrial x-ray exposure, immunosuppression, scarring from diseases or burns, and occupational exposure to compounds such as coal tar and arsenic.
SCC is the second most common skin cancer; it is primarily found in fair-skinned people and rarely in dark-skinned individuals. Typically located on the rim of the ear, face, near the mouth or on the trunk, this cancer may appear as a firm bump, or as a red, scaly patch. SCC can develop into large masses and become invasive, leading to extensive local tissue destruction and possible risk of metastasis. Therefore, it is important to get early treatment. When detected and treated early, the cure rate for both BCC and SCC approaches 95 percent.Skin Cancer - Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Malignant melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers. Melanoma begins in melanocytes. Melanoma may appear suddenly or begin in or near a mole, or another dark spot in the skin. This skin cancer often appears in mixed shades of tan, brown, and black; although, it can also be red or white.Any changing mole must be examined by a dermatologist. Early melanoma can be removed while still in the curable stage; melanoma readily metastasizes, making early detection and treatment essential to increase survival rates.Excessive sun exposure, especially sunburn, is the most important preventable risk factor for melanoma. Fair-skinned individuals are at particular risk, but heredity also plays a part. A person has an increased chance of developing melanoma if a relative or close family member has had melanoma. Atypical moles, which may also run in families, and having a large number of moles, can also serve as markers for people at increased risk for developing melanoma.
Dark skin is not a guarantee against melanoma. People with skin of color can develop melanoma, especially on the palms, soles, under the nails, in the mouth, or on the genitalia.
What is the treatment of Skin Cancer?
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. Periodic skin examination is the key to early detection of skin cancer. Dermatologic surgical treatments include: simple surgical excision; Mohs micrographic surgery (a special procedure that removes the tumor while sparing as much normal skin as possible); electrodessication and curettage (ED&C-alternately scraping and burning the tumor); cryosurgery (freezing using liquid nitrogen); and laser surgery.Other dermatologic treatments include radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy (a chemical applied to the skin is exposed to a light source). Topical chemotherapy products may also be used