What is skin cancer:
Skin cancer is an uncontrolled growth of skin cells which are abnormal. It is the most common of all cancers. Skin cancer usually occurs in people who are exposed to excessive ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. People who are at higher risk of developing skin cancers usually have:
- Fair and freckled skin
- Light-coloured eyes and hair
- A large number of moles of unusual size or shape
- A family history of skin cancers
- A personal history of having blistering sunburns
- People who live closer towards the equator or are at a higher altitude
Most skin lesions are non-cancerous; however, if some concerns have caused the patient to make an inquiry, a correct diagnosis is important. Accurate diagnosis of any skin lesions can be done by histologic examinations of a skin biopsy. However, pathologists must gain the clinical acumen and correctly identify common benign skin lesions to distinguish the skin conditions that need a biopsy and possible treatment.
THERE ARE THREE MAIN TYPES OF SKIN CANCER:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. Grows slowly, and doesn’t spread beyond its original site.
- If left untreated, it can grow deep into the skin and into the underlying tissue and bone.
- Can cause serious damage, particularly if it is near the eye.
SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
- Frequently appears on the head, neck, forearms, and hands, or all sunlight exposed areas of the body.
- Can spread to other parts of the body, and can become life-threatening if left untreated.
- SCC looks like a red, scaly spot usually thickened.
- It can bleed easily.
- It is tender to the touch.
- Highly malignant.
- Occurs only in 5 people out of 100.
- Can usually be treated successfully if diagnosed early.
- If it’s not treated quickly, however, malignant it may be, may spread throughout the body and is often fatal.
- About half of all cases of melanoma develop from moles.