Saturday, August 21, 2010

Skin Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Skin cancer is a very dangerous and common diseases which can have many different causes. It can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most common in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms.The most common skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma.

Skin Cancer

This disease represents the most commonly diagnosed malignancy, surpassing lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer but unlike other cancers only a very small number of people die from it. There are a variety of different symptoms and different types have different symptoms.

  • ulcering in the skin
  • changes in the skin that do not heal
  • changes in existing moles
  • discolored skin
  • Areas of the skin that are:
    • Scaly, bleeding, or crusty
    • Flat, rough, red or brown, and scaly.
    • Small, raised, smooth, shiny, and waxy.
    • Similar to a scar and firm

Signs of possible actinic keratosis are: Cracking or peeling of the lower lip and a rough, red, pink, or brown, raised, scaly patch on the skin. It is impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of skin cancer, the risk of developing such a cancer can be reduced significantly with the following steps:

  • avoiding sun exposure during the day
  • wearing protective clothing
  • reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation
  • reapply sun block every 2 hours and after swimming
  • using a broad-spectrum sunscreen

Basal cell carcinoma

It is the most comon type of this disease and it occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun, most often the nose. Often this appears as a small raised bump that has a smooth, pearly appearance. Basal cell carcinoma may spread to tissues around the cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma

It occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun, such as the ears, lower lip, and the back of the hands. Squamous cell carcinoma may also appear on areas of the skin that have been burned or exposed to chemicals or radiation. Often this cancer appears as a firm red bump.

Actinic keratosis

It is a skin condition that fortunately is not cancer but can change to squamous cell carcinoma. It occurs in areas that have been exposed to the sun, such as the face, the back of the hands, and the lower lip.

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