Skin cancer or skin neoplasms is the most common form of human cancer and because it grows in the epidermis, the tumor is usually visible. It is diagnosed in countless individuals annually. Cancer is basically abnormal growth of body cells due to which they multiply and grow tremendously. As these cells multiply, they form a tumor which is referred as Skin cancer or skin neoplasms. Skin cancer is basically of three types classified as:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Each has been named after the skin cell from which it arises. Basal cell carcinoma is quite common and melanoma is the most dangerous type as it soon spreads to the other body parts.
Basal Cell Carcinoma(BCC): This is the most common form of skin cancer that does not spread to other body parts. It is generally diagnosed on sun-exposed body parts such as face and it is characterized by tiny blood vessels present on the skin or sometimes ulceration.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma(SCC): SCC is also a common form of skin cancer, but it is much less common than basal cell carcinoma. It is named so as it appears in thin flat cells present in the skin. However, the metastasis rate is quite low, but it metastasize more frequently as compared to basal cell carcinoma. It generally appears as red, scaly bump, tumor growing extensively and associates pain.
Melanoma: Melanoma is rare but once it occurs, it metastasize frequently as compared to other two forms. It is the most serious form of skin cancer as it could lead to death. It is characterized by asymmetrical area often with color variation.
A basal cell carcinoma(BCC) is characterized by tiny blood vessels present on the skin or within the tumor or sometimes ulceration, mainly on the sun exposed skin such as head, neck or shoulders. It may be mistakenly treated as a sore that does not heal.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma(SCC) generally appears as red, scaly bump, tumor or thickened patch on the sun exposed skin. It grows extensively and associates pain. It may ulcerate and bleed.
Melanomas are pigmented lesions, often characterized by change in size, shape, color, or fullness of a mole.
Most commonly it occurs due to the exposure of sunlight, but some other risk factors are also there such as:
- Exposure to x-rays
- Impairment of immune system
- Family history of skin cancer
- People with certain genetic disorders such as albinism are at higher risk of developing skin cancer
- Wounds that are taking time to heal, etc.
Well, applying sunscreen and preventing direct exposure to sunlight can reduce the risk of developing BCC and SCC but its hard to prevent malignant melanoma. Some other preventive measures are:
- Preventing overexposure to ultraviolet radiation during early years
- Avoiding use of tobacco products
- Using protective gears such as sunscreen, etc while going out in the sun
However there are no suggestive measures to prevent skin cancer, the above listed ways can prove quite useful.