Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and it can be successfully treated if the warning signs are spotted early on. However, if proper treatment is not administered at the right time, skin cancer can be deadly. Hence, it is very important to spot the early warning signs, and consult the best skin specialist in India as soon as possible.
In order to notice the early signs and symptoms of skin cancer, you need to know your skin – what looks normal and what doesn’t. Carry out regular skin checks to detect any suspicious spots. But, to spot the warning signs, you need to be aware about skin cancer, know about its types, and the warning signs of the disease. In this blog, we will discuss about skin cancer, its warning signs, and the treatment options.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin. These abnormal cells may develop due to a variety of factors, including genetics and skin type. But, in most cases, it is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light produced by the sun.
Skin cancer may start as a dark spot, a lesion, or a bump on the skin, or a wound that does not heal. Skin cancers originate from the epidermal (superficial layer) cells of the skin.
Skin cancer can be of 3 types:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
If you notice any lesions or spots on your skin or any other noticeable changes in your skin, it is best to consult a dermatologist in Gurgaon or near you, at a leading skin hospital.
3 Ways for the Early Detection of Skin Cancer
Do a self-exam
It is advisable to practice a monthly head-to-toe self-examination of the skin to find any new or changing lesions. Doing a self-exam ensures that you can spot any skin growths that might be cancerous or precancerous.
Learning about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during self-examination is an important step for the early detection of skin cancer. If you notice anything suspicious, visit the best skin specialist in India to start treatment as early as possible.
Here are the steps of performing self-examination of your skin –
- Get to know your skin
- Spot any changes in the shape, color, or size of a lesion, or any new spots or lesions
- Check all areas of their skin regularly, including the skin exposed and the skin not exposed to the sun
- Get help to check difficult-to-see areas, such as the back
Performed regularly, self-examination can be really helpful in the early detection of skin cancer. For most people, doing a self-exam once a month is ideal, but you can ask your dermatologist if you should be doing more frequent checks.
Know the signs to look for
For early detection of skin cancer, you don’t need x-rays or blood tests; just a complete skin examination is enough. Spotting skin cancer early is the best way to ensure that it can be treated successfully.
When conducting a self-exam, it is important to know what the signs are that you should look for. Here is a list of signs that can help in the early detection of skin cancer –
- Any growth on the skin that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, brown, black, or multicolored
- Any mark on the skin, such as a mole, a birthmark, or any other spot that changes color or texture, increases in size or thickness, has an irregular outline, is bigger than 6mm or 1/4″, and/or appears after the age of 21
- A lesion or sore that continues to itch, hurt, scab, erode, or bleed
- An open sore that does not heal within three weeks
Consult a dermatologist
If you notice any signs, don’t overlook them, consult a skin care hospitalas early as you can. See a dermatologist in Gurgaonor in your city, preferably one who specializes in dealing with skin diseases. Also, it is important to know that not all skin cancers have these particular signs. So, if there are any noticeable changes in your skin, talk about it to your doctor.
Treatment of skin cancer
There are several types of treatment procedures for treating skin cancers. However, the choice of therapy depends upon factors such as the location and size of tumor, and the general health of the patient.
Here are the various treatment options for skin cancer –
- Topical medications – Creams, gels, and solutions can be used to treat superficial basal cell carcinomas.
- Destruction by electrodessication and curettage – Small tumors can be surgically excised with a scraping tool (curette) and then cauterized.
- Surgical excision – Local anesthesia is used to numb the area around the tumor and then, a portion of tissue including the tumor is removed. The wound edges are closed with sutures.
- Radiation therapy – Various radiation therapy sessions delivering a high dose of radiation to the tumor area are used. This treatment is helpful for patients who are not candidates for surgical procedures.
- Other types of treatments for skin cancers include –
- Cryosurgery, which involves freezing the cancerous spot
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) in which medication and blue light is used to kill the cancerous tissue
- Laser surgery to vaporize the skin’s top layer and destroy lesions
- Oral medications
Spotting skin cancer early, when it’s small and has not spread, makes it much easier to treat. So, spotting any changes early on your skin and consulting a skin specialist as early as you can is the best way to successfully treat the disease.