Skin Cancer: The Dangers of Melanoma

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z



Is skin cancer curable? Yes, this is the most common type of cancer and it is curable if diagnosed within time. Although, it begins anywhere on the body but is most often found on areas exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms. Being a writer I want to give you more information and awareness about this and how can it be treated effectively.


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What is Skin Cancer?


Skin cancer is the unrestrained growth of abnormal skin cells. It begins when the unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells and triggers mutations, or genetic defects, which lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.



What are the Types of Skin Cancer?


There are 6 types of skin cancer:


1. Basal cell carcinoma. This the most common type of skin cancer


2. Squamous cell carcinoma


3. Melanoma


4. Less common types of skin cancer


5. Actinic keratosis (solar keratosis)


6. Squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen disease)



What are the Causes of Skin Cancer?



Skin cancer grows when one of the three types of cells which make up the skin reproduce abnormally. As they grow and divide without stopping, they can metastasize. This means they spread to other places in your body through your lymphatic system.



Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. When you don’t protect your skin, UV rays from sunlight or tanning beds can damage your skin’s DNA. When the DNA is altered, it can’t properly control skin cell growth, leading to cancer. A number of things can raise your chances of getting it.


Who’s Most at Risk of Skin Cancer?


1. Sun damage


If you have a history of sunburn or have spent a lot of time in the sun, your odds go up for both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers.

2. Light skin, eyes, and hair


The less pigment you have in your skin, the less protection your cells have against dangerous UV rays. Nonmelanoma is rare if your skin is dark, but you can still get melanoma.


3. Location


If you live in a warm climate or high elevation, you’re exposed to higher amounts of UV radiation from the sun, which can make your odds of melanoma go up.


4. Age


As the years go by, you experience more and more damaging UV rays. Most nonmelanomas seem to show up in adults 50 and older.


5. History of skin cancer


If you’ve already had nonmelanoma skin cancer, you’re more likely to develop it again. And if someone in your family has had it, your chances go up, as well. The same goes for melanoma. If you have a parent or sibling that’s had melanoma, your odds of developing it increase, too.


6. Gender


Men are more likely to get nonmelanoma skin cancer than women. However, women under 50 are more likely to develop melanoma than men their age.



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Symptoms of Skin Cancer


An easy way to remember the signs of melanoma is the ABCDEs of melanoma: Asymmetry, irregular Borders, changes in Color,


The general warning signs of skin cancer include:


1. Any change in size, color, shape, or texture of a mole or other skin growth


2. An open or inflamed skin wound that won’t heal


Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, may appear as:


1. A change in an existing mole


2. A small, dark, multicolored spot with irregular borders  either elevated or flat  that may bleed and form a scab


3. A cluster of shiny, firm, dark bumps


4. A mole larger than a pencil eraser


Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, Evolution of a mole’s characteristics, be it size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, itching, or crusting.

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Treatments for Skin Cancer?



They may use one or more different ways to remove, kill, or stop the cancer cells from growing:


1. Surgery


2. Cryotherapy


3. Radiation


4. Chemotherapy or photochemotherapy


5. Laser therapy


6. Biologic or immunotherapy


7. Targeted therapy


If the usual treatment doesn’t work or it’s difficult for you, you may be able to find a clinical trial. These test new ways to treat cancers that could be more effective or have lesser side effects.


Once you’ve had skin cancer, like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, there’s a good chance it will come back or you’ll get a new tumor within a few years, so you’ll need to get your skin checked regularly to catch it early.




Here we have discussed in the above blog, Skin Cancer. The best way to cure this is to manage your healthy lifestyle before going out always apply sunscreen and most importantly if you feel any symptoms then consult a cancer specialist as soon as possible.



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