Taking care of your skin has several advantages. Apart from maintaining your youthful glow amidst the challenges of aging, you will also be able to reduce your risk of acquiring skin cancer. In terms of the latter, this comprehensive guide outlines everything you need to know about skin cancer.

Early Detection

One of the first things you need to know about skin cancer is that early detection is crucial. This is because the earlier you learn about the illness affecting your body, the better your chances of recovering and getting a successful outcome from the treatments. In this case, consider undergoing 3d skin imaging for a full-body skin check. This technology helps track changes, allowing medical practitioners to see which moles need further attention earlier. You can also try the ABCDE rule, which entails checking your moles and skin lesions for asymmetry, irregular borders, uneven color, large diameter, and evolving size or shape. It would help if you watched for lesions that are elevated, firm, and growing (EFG).

In case you notice anything unusual when you perform self-checks for early detection, consult a medical professional immediately to have your skin checked appropriately. Remember, skin cancers can develop rapidly, so early detection is essential for effective treatment. By scheduling a routine full-body skin check, you ultimately increase your chances of successful and less invasive interventions when necessary.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are numerous skin cancer types, and the treatment option may depend on the specific category of the cancer you are diagnosed with. For instance, there is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), which is also considered the most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears as a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish skin patch. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) can appear as a firm, red nodule or sometimes a flat, scaly lesion, often with a crusted surface. Some people encounter melanoma, which is considered to be an extremely dangerous type of skin cancer. This is because melanoma can be mistaken for a typical mole. However, when you notice a change in the mole, such as irregular borders and multiple colors, you must have yourself checked.

Risk Factors

Several risk factors contribute to skin cancer, including ultraviolet (UV) exposure and fair skin. For this reason, fair-skinned individuals who frequent tanning beds to acquire a golden brown skin color have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. If you have a history of sunburns, mainly during childhood, you also have a greater risk of being diagnosed with the disease. Similarly, people with various moles all over their body have an increased risk of skin cancer because these moles can contribute to the growth of cancer cells, leading to melanoma. Your risk is also elevated if you have a family history of skin cancer or if you have a weak immune system primarily because of other underlying conditions such as HIV or being an organ transplant recipient.

Preventive Measures

There are numerous ways to prevent skin cancer; you may be surprised that some may be so simple. For instance, whenever you need to spend time under the sun, ensure you are well protected from harmful rays. If you want to spend a day at the beach or play sports outdoors, apply a generous amount of sunscreen. When choosing the best sunscreen, opt for a broad-spectrum one with the proper SPF protection. Similarly, if you want to tend to your garden, you can, but you better wear a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves to protect your skin from sun exposure. In all instances possible, seek shade.

Since exposure to UV rays is the primary risk factor for acquiring skin cancer, you should avoid tanning beds. You should also regularly check yourself for any unusual growth on your skin. If you notice something suspicious, consult a dermatologist for early detection and peace of mind. It is also a good idea to live a healthy lifestyle without bad habits that can aggravate your risk factors. If you know your risk factors, you will have great chances of reducing or minimizing their impact.

Skin Cancer 101 What Everyone Should Know

Treatment Options

In case you are diagnosed with skin cancer, know that there are various treatment options available. For instance, there are now various topical medications that you can apply to help prevent the spread of cancer cells. Some are designed to treat superficial basal cell carcinomas, while others are used to address specific types of precancerous skin lesions. Some people diagnosed with skin cancer undergo radiation therapy, wherein medical professionals use high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells. This is often the alternative treatment if surgery is infeasible. Some doctors prefer that their patients undergo chemotherapy. This is where prescription drugs are taken orally to treat advanced or metastatic skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Nevertheless, compared to other types of cancer, chemotherapy is less frequently used to treat skin cancer.

Apart from the options previously stated, surgery remains the primary form of treatment for skin cancer. This is where the cancerous tissue is surgically removed along with a margin of healthy skin to ensure complete cancer mitigation. Other doctors perform Mohs surgery wherein layers of skin are removed one at a time until no abnormal cells are detected under a microscope. This type of surgery minimizes damage to your skin’s healthy tissues. For the early stages of skin cancer, some medical professionals perform cryotherapy, wherein cancerous cells are frozen with liquid nitrogen. Others recommend immunotherapy, requiring you to take prescription drugs to help your body’s immune system recognize and attack the cancer cells. Consult your doctor to find the most appropriate treatment for you.

Early detection is critical for skin cancer or any other type of cancer. This way, you can work with a medical professional accordingly. It will also help to know the risk factors contributing to skin cancer. Rest assured that you can take numerous preventive measures to reduce your risk of acquiring this disease. Should you be diagnosed with skin cancer, don’t lose how because there are also various treatment options available. With the proper care, you can maintain the quality of life you deserve.

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