Types of skin cancer
Skin cancer may initially appear on the surface of the skin in the form on a bump, nodule or irregular patch.
The size, shape and colour of the skin colour mass is likely to grow as the cancer advances.
While the visible changes start to develop it is very likely that the cancer may be spreading into the skin’s lower layers.
Skin cancer continues to go deep down into the dermis and also in the specific subcutaneous tissues if allowed to progress.
In advanced cases, skin cancer can penetrate deep enough to muscle groups, cartilage or bone fragments.
If the cancer advances in the blood stream or lymph fluids, it may latch on to other critical areas like the liver or lungs.
The main types of skin cancers are Melanoma, basalcell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Keratocantoma are benign (non-cancerous) tumours that generally have slow growth and most usually go away on their own.
In cases where Keratoacanthomas tumours keep advancing, they are considered as a type of squamous cell carcinoma.
Symptoms of Skin cancer
Non-melanoma skin colour cancer symptoms.
Symptoms usually start with lesions that appear as nodules, growth on the skin, bump or sores that do not heal.
These are usually the very first symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer.
However basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma can differ.
Basal cell carcinoma
A dull patch or even a waxy semi-transparent bump may be the presence of Basal cell carcinoma for the head or neck.
Detection of blood vessels in the center of the bump may be possible or they could be a dent in the center.
Carcinoma in the chest may appear like a brownish keloid or flesh coloured lesion.
If damaged, bleeding may occur or even ooze and turn crusty in many areas.
Squamous cell carcinoma could grow as a lump in the skin.
These hard lumps can be coarse on top compared to the clean and pearly appearance of basal cell carcinoma.
It could also develop as a reddish scaly plot.
The coarse spots that look like lesions spots do not disappear and slowly start to develop unlike skin-colour rash that may fade away entirely over a period of time.
This kind of cancer generally appears on the head, neck, palms and arms.
However they could also grow in the genital region or develop as skin sores.
Both Basal and Squamous cell carcinomas may develop in a certain area of the body and look just like normal skin, however it is necessary to be attentive towards the symptoms associated with skin cancer and if you notice any changes, see your physician.
When to look for urgent medical examination?
Even though majority of the skin lesions turn out to be benign and harmless it is absolutely imperative to get yourself diagnosed for some lesions early as a precautionary step.
Risk aspect of skin cancer
You may be able to lower your risk of developing almost all types of skin cancer by regulating those factors that are in your control.
Other factors that cannot be controlled can be kept in check by regular examination of the skin. This helps in early detection of any skin cancer that may be growing. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, as well as sunlight as well as tanning bed
is the most common cause of risk in relation to skin cancer for both melanoma and non-melanoma types of cancer. Involvement of any kind with sources that emit UV radiation increases the chance of developing skin cancer.
People who spend a large amount of their time outside without protective clothing or sunscreen or those who live in places that have harsh sunlight all year-round have higher risks of skin cancer.
Exposure at an early age, specifically constant sunburns as a child could also increase risks towards skin cancer.
Physical test and health record
In the first couple of days of your visit at our skin cancer clinic in Melbourne, we will carry out a set of tests linked with diagnosis and completely scrutinize your present medical record and history.
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We recommend you look for medical help if you notice any of the following:
- A sore that does not heal
- Pigment, redness or irritation which advances outside the border of an area to around the skin.
- Itchiness or pain
- Changes in texture or scales, oozing or bleeding from a pre-existing mole.
Checking for skin cancer signs/symptoms
Key steps in finding skin cancer and treating it early.
- Routine check-up of your skin for any abnormal or new growths.
- Changes in size, shape or colour of an existing spot
If you find anything out of the ordinary, you should discuss it immediately. Contact our trained staff at our skin cancer clinic in Melbourne.
While in most cases skin cancer develops due to excess exposure to the sun, many times it may also occur in areas that have not been exposed to the sun. Hence it is important to check-up all these areas.
Skin cancer signs should not only be checked in legs, trunk, biceps and triceps, face and the throat but also in areas in between toes, beneath claws, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, genitals and also eyes.
Skin cancer prevention
- The most significant step you can take to lower your risk of developing skin cancer is to have minimum exposure to UV light by refraining from sunlight and tanning beds.
- If you do step outdoors in the sun do not forget to wear sunscreen, protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
- Routine skin check-ups are imperative in taking precautionary steps, particularly if a considerable amount of moles or skin lesions.
- While these steps may not prohibit skin cancer from developing, it might help in early detection and be treated with less difficulty.
- If you notice any unusual moles that have recently formed or changes in existing ones, you should see your doctor immediately.
Skin cancers risk factors
Risks of skin cancer rise as you grow older, which is due to collective exposure to UV radiation.
Skin cancer risks may also intensify due to conditions that impair the immune system, like immune system suppression therapy linked toorgan transplantation.
Men are more susceptible to skin cancer; around twice more in basal cell carcinomas and thrice more susceptible to squamous cell carcinomas as compared to women and this can be associated to increased exposure to the sun and extensive outdoor activities.
Risk of skin cancer is higher with Caucasians than in non-whites.
It is also greater in people with blonder or red hair, blue and green eyes, and also in skin that melts away or freckles easily.
More often than not moles are not harmful and the likelihood of them turning cancerous is very rare, however larger number of moles may raise the chance of developing melanoma.
People who have some first-degree relatives (parent and also sibling) who suffer from skin cancer have higher risk.
Further, individuals who previously may have been diagnosed with skin cancer run the risk of developing it again.
Smokers are prone to developing squamous cell cancer, primarily on the lips.
Probable skin cancer types are first examined visually.
At our skin cancer clinic in Melbourne our doctor will initially perform an examinationof the location, observing its size, shape, colour and texture, further noting if there is any scaling or bleeding.
The doctor will also check for any proximate lymph nodes to see if the nodes are enlarged.
If by this stage you are seeing a primary medical doctor,
the doctor from our Melbourne skin cancer clinic may require you to undergo more specific tests and form a conclusive squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis.
A dermatoscopy may be performed wherein your cosmetic surgeon uses a special microscope and magnifying lens to study the suspicious spot to investigate it further.
They may take a digital or photographic image of the spot.