Skin cancer occurs when skin cells start growing in a destructive manner. These cells originate from the topmost layer of the skin, which is referred to as the epidermis, and generally don’t spread to other body parts. In many cases, skin cancer isn’t life threatening, but you should still ensure that you’re following a proper treatment plan as recommended by your dermatologist in Southlake, TX.
What are the main kinds of skin cancer?
Skin cancer can be divided into three main types. The most common of these is basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Other forms include melanoma, sarcomas, lymphomas and Merkel cells cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer. A dermatologist in Southlake, TX suggests that over a million cases of this cancer are diagnosed in the US alone. Basal cell carcinoma can further be divided into the nodular type which is the most common of all three types. Superficial type is another kind of basal cell carcinoma, and generally isn’t worrisome, and the last kind is morpheaform, which is the most difficult to treat. In this case, the tumor growth merges with the surrounding tissues without any clear boundaries.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is diagnosed in about 20% of all skin cases. A dermatologist in Southlake, TX stated that this cancer is mostly common in individuals with a suppressed immune system. Biologically, this cancer is pretty much like basal cell carcinoma, but as a dermatologist in Southlake, TX puts it, this type of skin cancer has a greater chance of spreading to distant body parts.
What are the main causes of skin cancer?
Skin cancer occurs when the UV rays affect the epidermis of your skin and induce DNA mutations. When in the initial stages, your natural immune system may control growth, but if your case becomes severe, and growth kicks off, then the affected cells may develop into a mass, which ultimately leads to tumors.
Is skin cancer linked to genetics?
Not directly. The primary reason of developing skin cancer is exposure to UV rays. However, research has shown that skin cancer is more common among individuals with poor pigmentation. So, while it isn’t directly linked to your genes, they do play a part.
What are the most common symptoms?
The symptoms associated with basal cell carcinoma aren’t too many, but squamous cell carcinoma can be painful. In both cases, sores may appear on your skin, and fail to heal, often oozing and bleeding. Eventually, these sores grow into a bump with raised edges.
The most common symptoms of skin cancer are given below. If you notice any of these, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist in Southlake, TX right away.
Basal cell carcinoma
- Appearance of a pinkish red bump
- Lesion growths
- Reddish patches on the skin that appear to be raised and are itchy; these are usually not painful suggests a dermatologist in Southlake, TX.
- Yellowish white waxy area, resembling a scar
Squamous cell carcinomas
- Scaly red patches that are kind of persistent and often bleed
- Open sores that stay on your skin for weeks on red
- Wart like growth
A dermatologist in Southlake, TX advises that you should also be careful and seek professional advice if scaly lesions develop on your face or scalp. These are a result of UV skin damage, and if you don’t get seek proper treatment from a dermatologist in Southlake, TX, in then there is a 10% chance of them turning into a skin cancer case.
How will a dermatologist in Southlake, TX treat skin cancer?
Skin cancer is treated through a number of means. Your dermatologist in Southlake, TX will first assess your case, and accordingly, come up with a personal treatment plan based on the tumor location and size, your cancer characteristics and your general health.
If you’re suffering basal cell carcinoma, then your dermatologist in Southlake, TX may recommend gels and creams. These stimulate your immune system so that its produces interferon and fluorouracil (5-FU) to attack cancerous cells. Tropical treatments generally don’t have side effects, but you may rarely suffer from inflammation or irritation.
Your dermatologist in Southlake, TX will numb the area around your tumor and remove the affected tissue. Depending on your tumor size, sutures or skin grafts may be required to cover up the treated area.
Electrodessication and curettage (EDC)
In this case, your dermatologist in Southlake, TX will scrap the tumor area using a sharp instrument and then cauterize the edges with an electric needle.
What are the biggest risk factors of skin cancer?
Your dermatologist in Southlake, TX can assess your case individually and accordingly evaluate if you are likely to develop skin cancer or not. The most common factors are given as below.
UV rays and X-Rays
An expert dermatologist in Southlake, TX regards exposure to UV rays to be the number one cause of cancer, regardless of whether these rays originate from tanning beds or the sun itself. If your skin color is fair or if you have light colored or red hair, your chances of being affected by UV rays increase. The same is the case if you live in elevated areas or in a place that is too close to the equator.
You’re also a more likely victim if you regularly come in contact with ionizing radiation or x-rays. These contain chemicals such as arsenic which can trigger unhealthy skin cells growth.
Suppressed immune system
If you have ever suffered from HIV/AIDS or have taken specific medicines which have suppressed your immune system – a condition known as immunosuppression – then your chances of developing skin cancer are greater.
As you grow older, your chances of suffering from skin cancer increase.
If you already have suffered from skin cancer in the past, there is a 20% greater chance of you developing another skin cancer within the next two or three years. Discuss your case with a dermatologist in Southlake, TX, and they’ll suggest certain measures which you can take to minimize the risks.
Make an appointment with Compassion Dermatology for all your skin care needs.