Is It A Mole Or Skin Cancer? Here’s Everything You Need To Know
Is It A Mole Or Skin Cancer? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

By Malla Reddy Narayana on 4 Mar, 2022

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Melanoma is also known as skin cancer is the fourth among the most prominent type of cancer. Skin cancer is the abnormal proliferation of skin cells and it is most commonly found on sun-exposed skin. However, this cancer can also originate in areas of skin that aren’t often exposed to sunlight. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, 

What causes skin cancer?

As we already understand, skin cancer is most commonly seen in sun-exposed regions of the body, such as the face, ears, neck, chest, arms, and hands, as well as legs. However, it can also occur in locations that are rarely exposed to the sun, such as palms, under the nails, in the groin region. People of all skin tones, particularly those with darker complexions, are more susceptible to skin cancer. Among persons with dark skin tones. Melanoma is more prone to develop in places not ordinarily sun-exposed areas, such as the palms of hands and the soles.

Skin cancer is caused when the DNA of the skin cells undergoes mutation caused by the presence of UV Rays present in the sunlight. This abnormal change in the DNA causes the cell to divide and grow uncontrollably which later forms a mass of cells that we normally refer to as lumps or tumors. 

The epidermis, or the top layer of the skin, which is responsible for protecting the skin, is the point where skin cancer first originates. The epidermis consists of three types of cells

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

Symptoms of skin cancer differ as per the type of skin cells that they originate. The three main types of skin cells are squamous cells, which are found in the inner lining of the skin and are found just beneath the surface. Underneath the squamous cells are basal cells, which are responsible for the generation of new skin cells, and melanocytes, which generate melanin, which provides the natural color to the skin are found in the epidermis’ bottom layer. 

When one stands under the sun for a prolonged period, the melanocytes create more melanin to aid in the protection of the deeper layer of skin and hence resulting in darkening of the skin which we can observe in people who spend more time under the sun.

Here are the most commonly found cancers as per their origination and their symptoms. 

– Basal cell carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma is most commonly found in parts such as the neck and face. Basal cell carcinoma can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

(a.) A lump that seems to be pearly or waxy

(b.) A scar-like lesion that is flat, flesh-colored, or brown

(c.) A sore that bleeds or scabs then heals and reappears

– Squamous cell carcinoma: Most often, squamous cell carcinoma occurs on areas of the body, such as the face, ears, and hands. For people with a dark complexion, developing cancer in areas not exposed to the sun is more common than in the areas that come under direct exposure to sunlight

Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as:

(a.) A firm, red nodule

(b.) A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface

– Basal cell carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma is most commonly found in parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the neck and face. Basal cell carcinoma can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

(a.) A lump that seems to be pearly or waxy.

(b.) A scar-like lesion that is flat, flesh-colored, or brown.

(c.) A sore that bleeds or scabs then heals and reappears

The common symptoms that occur in most types of skin cancer are as follows

– A huge brownish area with darker speckles on the surface.

– Mole whose size and color changes

– A painful, itchy, or burning lesion.

– Dark lesions on the palms, soles, fingertips, or toes, as well as mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, vaginal, or anus

Treatment Methods

Skin cancer and pre-cancerous lesions known referred to as actinic keratoses have different treatment options based on the size, nature, depth, and location of the lesions. Small skin cancers that are restricted to the skin’s surface may not require therapy beyond a skin biopsy to remove the whole tumor.

Freezing: The doctor may use liquid nitrogen to freeze actinic keratoses and some tiny, early skin malignancies (cryosurgery). The frozen cells are later removed.

Excisional surgery: It is a type of surgery that removes a portion of Any sort of skin cancer that may benefit from this type of treatment. In this procedure, the doctors remove cancer and also a layer of healthy tissue surrounding it. In rare circumstances, a broad excision — the removal of excess normal skin around the tumor — may be recommended.

Mohs surgery: This technique is for skin malignancies that are bigger, recurrent, or difficult to cure, and can include both basal and squamous cell carcinomas. This treatment method is primarily used in places where maintaining the shape of the affected area is a priority like nose.

Cryotherapy: After removing the majority of a tumor, the doctor uses a circular blade to carefully remove layers of cancer cells. An electric needle is used for getting rid of any remaining cancer cells. For freezing of the base and borders of the treated region in a version of this process, liquid nitrogen is taken into use.

Radiotherapy: Radiation therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of Radiation therapy that kills cancer cells by delivering high-powered radiation beams, such as X-rays. When cancer cannot be eliminated during surgery, radiation treatment may be an alternative.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs that consists of chemicals that are used to destroy cancerous cells. Creams and lotions which contain anti-cancer medicines can be administered directly to the affected area for malignancies that are localized to the upper layer of the skin. Skin malignancies that have progressed to other regions of the body can be treated with systemic chemotherapy.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT): This is a treatment that uses light to This treatment uses a mix of laser beams and medications that make cancerous cells light-sensitive to kill skin cancer cells.

Biological therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of living The immune system of the body is used to fight cancer cells in biological treatment.

Methods of prevention

– Limit the exposure to sun rays, especially at noon times.

– Always use sunscreen and wear protective clothing.

– Try to wear clothes that protect the skin from direct sunlight.

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