Skin Cancer Types Signs and Treatment

Skin cancer treatment is associated with a high success rate when detected early. Early detection is critically important to preserve life quality and prevent death. So, we’d like to inform  you about the Top 8 Skin Cancer Prevention Tips, types, symptoms associated with certain types and skin cancer treatment options.

  • Skin Checks for Your Face and Body are vital on a regular basis.
  • Anytime you notice a skin growth or mole change in size, color, consistency or shape, see a physician or dermatologist specializing in skin cancer right away.

Actinic Keratosis, a precursor to Skin Cancer: It is estimated that over ten million people have actinic keratosis (AK). Up to ten percent of all people with actinic keratosis eventually develop squamous cell carcinoma.

  • Actinic keratosis is signified by a growth on the skin that is scaly and crusty to the touch.

Treatment Options May Include: Topical medications such as Imiquimod, 5-Flourouracil, or Diclofenac, cryosurgery, chemical peels, laser therapy, and photodynamic therapy.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Over 250,000 people are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma each year. This form of cancer can spread to the organs and may be life threatening.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma may occur anywhere on the body, particularly on sun damaged areas.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is signified by a wart like growth, open sore or red scaly patchy area.

Treatments Options May Include: Moh’s surgery, excisional dissection, curettage and electrodesiccation, radiation, cryosurgery, photodynamic therapy, laser surgery and topical medications such as Imiquimod and 5-Flourouracil.

Basal Cell Carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma affects roughly one million people annually.

  • This type of cancer affects the deepest layer of the skin and may spread to surrounding tissue.
  • Basal cell carcinoma is characterized by a reddish patch, open sore, shiny or pink bump, or a discolored scar like area.

Treatment Options May Include: Moh’s surgery, excisional surgery, curettage and electrodesiccation, radiation, cryosurgery, photodynamic therapy, laser surgery and topical medications, such as Imiquimod and 5-Flourouracil.

Melanoma: Approximately 65,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with melanoma and over 8,000 died from melanoma in 2008, according to the American Cancer Society. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, but people can survive with early treatment.

  • Characterized by a mole or growth that may have asymmetric borders and may change in color or size.

Treatment for Early Stage Melanoma may involve the surgical excision of the cancer. Physicians also check to ensure that the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes are affected (Stage III and up), they may be removed. This may be followed by chemotherapy, immunotherapy or gene therapy.

A Closer Look at Treatments

The good news is that skin cancer can usually be detected at an early phase and is treatable. In fact, the treatment types are numerous, including:

Excisional Surgery provides for the affected area to be removed from the skin.

Moh’s Surgery focuses on removing affected tissue layers one by one until all cancer is removed. Moh’s surgery has a 98% success rate.

Curettage and Electrodesiccation approach uses an electrocautery needle to heat and scrape the cancer away.

Photodynamic Therapy involves the use of a topical medication that is applied to the treatment area and the use of a special light on the same or the next day to destroy cancer cells.

Laser Therapy involves the use of a carbon dioxide or erbium YAG laser to remove the cancerous skin and cells.

Chemotherapy focuses on the injection of Dacarbazine (DTIC) and serves as an adjunct to melanoma treatment.

Immunotherapy may involve one of several types of drugs that work like a vaccine to prevent cancer re-growth.

Gene Therapy involves the injection of melanoma antigens so that they can attack precancerous cells.

Topical Medications are the least invasive approach to skin cancer and may be beneficial for select types of skin cancer.

The most important information to note in this article is that skin checks are important. Anytime you notice a skin growth or mole change in size, color, consistency or shape, see a physician specializing in skin diseases right away. Treatment for skin cancer is far less cumbersome than contending with cancer left untreated. In the end, skin cancer facial body checks need to be a part of our regular skincare routine.

It is important to recognize that all information contained in this forum cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.