In recent years, there has been a serious increase in the incidence of skin cancer. It is thought that with the ozone depletion, peoples' exposure to the UV rays of the sun is more effective in this. Exposure to sunlight is one of the most important causes of skin cancer and skin cancer most often develops in the sun-exposed areas such as the head, neck and arms.
Those with the light skin colour, those easily developing freckles, those with a large number of nevus, those who have changes in the size and shape of their nevus, those with a family history of skin cancer, those who are exposed to sunlight too much, those with non-healing wound, and those receiving radioactive ray treatment are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer.
TYPES OF SKIN CANCER
1. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): Caused by the basal cells in the epidermis.
2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): Caused by the squamous cells in the epidermis.
3. Malignant melanoma (MM): Caused by the melanin-producing cells.
BCC is the most common type of the skin cancer. Its progression is slow, it may last for years, spreads locally to the surrounding tissue and does not metastasize.
SCC is another common type of the skin cancer. Lips, face and head are the common areas. It may spread both locally to the surrounding tissues and to distant organs through the lymph nodes. The early diagnosis is important. Although it is possible to be completely treated with the early diagnosis, when not treated, it is life threatening.
MM is more rare but the most dangerous type among skin cancers. The early diagnosis is very important, it can only be treated completely if detected early. Therefore, it is recommended to evaluate the lesions on the body suspected of MM by taking biopsy without delay.
Since skin cancers can be encountered in a wide range of spectrum, different type of lesions formed in the body should be suspected in terms of cancer. These may arise in the form of a small pink mass or in the form of a pit, white, desquamated or crusty non-healing wound. Such different lesions that arise later on the skin are necessary to be evaluated.
A GROWTH, ASYMMETRY, EDGE IRREGULARITY, DIFFERENCE IN COLOR AND HAIRING, BLEEDING AND ITCHING, REDNESS AND CRUSTING that later arise in a pre-existing nevus should not be dropped beneath the radar and should be evaluated in terms of a cancer. The presence of these changes is considered to be the reason for surgical removal and pathologic examination of nevi.
The treatment is the surgical removal of the cancer from the body. The extent of treatment depends on the location, extent of cancer, and whether or not it metastasized to other organs. If it is a small lesion, only removal of the lesion using local anaesthesia is sufficient. If there is a metastasis, it may be necessary to remove the lesion area extensively, sometimes to transplant a tissue to fill the remaining gap, to treat it with an anticancer therapy using radiotherapy or chemotherapeutic drugs.