Introduction to Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the unlimited growth of abnormal skin cells in any part of the body which develops into cancerous tumours. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. These types have their own respective treatments depending on a number of factors such as the location of the cells, size and overall health of the patient.
Moreover, timely diagnosis of any kind of skin cancer is very crucial to the treatment and recovery. Hence, you must be very mindful of the changes on your skin. Proper diagnosis involves a biopsy of the suspected area of your body. Once the biopsy confirms the presence of cancerous skin cells, only then your dermatologist can recommend a suitable skin treatment, according to the skin cancer type and other specifications.
It is also very important to consult a certified dermatologist in the initial stages for all your skin-related problems because any error in diagnosis or guidance can lead to unwanted and unfortunate circumstances. After the diagnosis, you must also refer to credible and accredited Skin Cancer Clinics in your area to ensure proper treatment.
What are the treatments?
Immunotherapy is a treatment that helps you boost your immune system which fails to recognize the cancerous cell as a threat. It involves a number of mediums through which the natural defence mechanism of your body is rejuvenated and restored. Even though it is not that effective in treating higher stage skin cancer, it is useful during the initial stages to reduce the impacts.
Chemotherapy is a treatment that includes using medications to fight skin cancer or any cancer for that matter. Unlike immunotherapy, it does not focus on the affected area of the body only but targets all the cancer cells in all parts of the body. It is ideal to treat those skin cancer types that grow rapidly since the chemotherapy medications are designed to kill faster-growing cancer cells.
However, it is not as effective for skin cancers that grow and spread slowly. Moreover, some normal cells in our body also grow rapidly, such as hair follicles, that are more likely to be affected by the medications, contributing to some of the most obvious side effects such as hair loss. Therefore, you must refer to a few dermatologists before deciding on a treatment that best suits your skin cancer type and stage.
- Targeted therapy
As the name suggests, this therapy involves targeting the genes, proteins or tissue that is responsible for the growth and survival of cancerous cells. After this treatment, the living conditions of the cancer cells are eradicated, making it difficult for them to multiply and survive.
- Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is one of the most commonly used therapies in which the cancer cells are destroyed using high-energy rays or particles. It is the best therapy for skin cancer in areas that are difficult to treat through surgery or other treatments. It is also, sometimes, more preferable by patients who want to avoid surgery, which would leave them with a scar in the treated area. The affected area is subjected to the radiations through a machine administered outside of the body, much similar to an X-ray.
- Mohs surgery
Most skin cancers are treated through surgery. One example is the Mohs surgery in which the doctor removes the affected skin, layer by layer while making sure that the surrounding skin is not affected until there is no cancer cell left. This is particularly done in areas where it is important to maintain its original state, such as the nose.