Skin Cancer

Below you will find more information about Skin Cancer from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Skin Cancer it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Skin Cancer and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Skin Cancer comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Skin cancer is a type of cancer characterized by abnormal growth of skin cells commonly affecting areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight, including the lips, face, scalp, neck, ears, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. However, skin cancer may also occur in skin areas that are rarely exposed to the sun, such as the palms of hands, genital area, and spaces between toes.

Diagnosis

A sudden odd skin growth or any bothersome changes in the skin usually lead to a suspicion of skin cancer. A more definite diagnosis can be obtained from a biopsy of skin sample.

Treatment

Most cancerous skin tumors are removed surgically. Other treatment options include: freezing, excisional surgery, Mohs surgery, curettage and electrodesiccation, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy and biological therapy or immunotherapy.

Symptoms and Signs

An early sign of skin cancer is the sudden or gradual appearance of a skin lesion. The characteristics of this cancerous skin lesion depend on the type of skin cancer present. In basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, the lesions appear as waxy or pearly bumps on the face, ears, or neck. Another skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, presents with a firm, reddish lump or a flat scaly lesion with a crusted surface on the ears, lips, neck, face, arms, and hands. Symptoms of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, may include: large brownish spots with darker speckles appearing in different body parts; a mole that changes in size, color, and texture; a small lesion with red, black, or blue spots on trunks and limbs; firm, shiny, dome-shaped bumps on the body; and dark lesions appearing on the soles, palms, toes, fingertips, or on the mucous membranes of the nose, vagina, mouth, and anus.

Causes

Most types of skin cancer are attributed to ultraviolet light exposure, such as constant exposure to sunlight, commercial tanning lamps, and tanning beds. Other factors that may cause cancer of the skin include heredity, exposure to toxic chemicals, as well as radiation treatments.

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