Skin cancer is a skin disorder characterized by abnormal growth of skin cells. Skin cancer mainly attacks skin cells that are exposed to sunlight, such as on the face, arms and legs. Several types of skin cancer, including:
- Basal cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer that attacks the basal cells. Basal cells are a type of cell that work to produce new cells to replace dead skin cells. This type of cancer generally attacks the face and neck area.
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer that is classified as not too malignant. In general, it grows on facial skin, especially around the ears and lips. This type of cancer can attack other areas of the body, especially those with squamous cells.
- Melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer that develops in melanocyte cells, thereby disrupting cells that produce melanin, the pigment that forms skin color. It generally looks like a mole or develops from a mole.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
1. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Occurs in areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight, such as the neck or face.
- Soft, shiny bumps on the skin.
- Flat-shaped lesions on the skin are dark brown or reddish brown like flesh.
2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
- It occurs in sun-exposed areas of the skin, but in dark-skinned people, it often occurs on the skin in areas where the sun is rarely exposed.
- Hard red bumps on the skin.
- The skin lesions are flat and scaly hard like crusts.
- It can appear anywhere on the skin and on any skin tone.
- There is a new mole or there is a change in the shape of the old mole.
- Moles are irregular in shape.
- The mole changes shape and size after a while.
- Moles have a diameter greater than 6 millimeters.
- Moles have more than one color.
- Moles have ragged edges and are rough.
- The mole is itchy and may bleed.
Causes of Skin Cancer
The cause of skin cancer is the result of DNA mutations that cause abnormal growth of certain cells in the skin. This DNA mutation in skin tissue is triggered by exposure to ultraviolet light. The main source of ultraviolet light is sunlight which consists of three types, namely ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). Of the three types of ultraviolet rays, the most harmful to the skin is UVC rays. However, UVC rays can be absorbed by the atmosphere before they reach the ground. Meanwhile, UVA and UVB can damage skin cells, especially those that are pale in color, and have the potential to cause skin cancer.
Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
Several risk factors for skin cancer include:
- Frequent exposure to ultraviolet rays.
- The skin is often sunburned.
- Low immune system, such as in people with HIV / AIDS, people taking immunosuppressant drugs, and organ transplant recipients.
- Have many moles or moles that are abnormal.
- Have light or white skin.
- People with old age.
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic, can increase the risk of skin cancer.
- People with actinic keratosis, which are patches in the form of thickened scaly skin on the face, hands, and head, which have the potential to become skin cancer.
- Family history of skin cancer.
- History of radiation therapy.
- Previous history of skin cancer.
If you experience symptoms, in the form of a lump on the skin or a change in a mole that does not disappear or gets worse, immediately consult a dermatologist for further examination and treatment. To do a checkup, you can immediately make an appointment with a doctor at the hospital or clinic of your choice, such as Vial Dermatology CRO
Diagnosis of Skin Cancer
The doctor will diagnose skin cancer by conducting a complete medical interview, a thorough physical examination, and supporting examinations in the form of a skin tissue biopsy. A biopsy is done by removing a small amount of tissue from the skin that is not normal. Furthermore, the tissue will be examined under a microscope for histopathological examination. Through a biopsy, it can be determined the type of skin cancer the sufferer is experiencing.
Prevention of Skin Cancer
Some efforts can be made to prevent skin cancer, including:
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Use clothes that can protect your skin from the sun.
- Use sunscreen when traveling outside.
- Pay close attention to skin condition once a week.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Treatment of skin cancer depends on the type of cancer you have and the area of skin affected. In general, doctors will perform surgery to remove areas of skin that have cancer. However, if the cancerous skin is extensive, radiotherapy (radiation) can be done after surgery is performed. Some of the treatment options that doctors can use to treat skin cancer include:
- Photodynamic therapy, which removes cancer cells using light.
- Excision of the tumor or surgery, which aims to cut the skin layer or part of the skin that is affected by cancer.
- Cryotherapy or cryosurgery, which is a therapy to remove cancer cells using the freezing method.
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy.