Our skin is the protective layer that forms a barrier between our bodies and the outside environment. Our body holds a lot of delicate organs, and if it wasn't for our skin forming a protective layer, our organs would be all exposed to the harmful components of the environment surrounding us. This shows that being the biggest organ in our body, our skin is also one of the most important organs – which means that we humans need to be more caring toward our skin.
Despite being a protective layer for our body, our skin is extremely delicate and fragile and prone to being harmed by many things in our surroundings. However, even though this is common knowledge, most of us tend to take our skin for granted and don't take enough care of it. Only to end up with dangerous skin conditions and sometimes irreversible damage to our skin.
Speaking of dangerous skin conditions, let's talk about skin cancer, which is one of the most common skin-related problems faced by people and is caused mostly by our own negligence. So without further ado, here is all about skin cancer and its differences to help you be more aware of how to take better care of your skin.
What is Skin Cancer?
Cancer is known as the abnormal and unwanted growth of cells in any part of the body; skin cancer is also a condition in which skin cells grow uncontrollably and multiply in an abnormal and unorderly manner. Normally, our body makes new skin cells when our existing cells grow old, get damaged, or die. But due to any abnormality when this process doesn't work, we see rapid and abnormal growth of cells. This results in a collection of cells that can either be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous, which may spread to other body parts.
Skin cancer is now becoming an extremely common problem. Today approximately 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States alone! Skin cancer is mainly caused to UV exposure from the sun rays, and the growing problem of climate change and ozone layer depletion is only adding to the epidemic of the disease in most areas.
However, fortunately, not all types of skin cancers are dangerous and spreadable and can also be treated at early stages. Let's talk about the types of skin cancer.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are three major types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
1. Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and is commonly known as "non-melanoma skin cancer." As the name may suggest, basal cell carcinoma is related to the basal cells present in the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis.
BCC or basal cell carcinoma is the type of skin cancer that forms in these microscopic cells – and since these cells are responsible for making new skin cells by copying and dividing themselves, cancer causes them to act abnormally and multiply cells at an uncontrollable rate.
BCC appears like small scaly flat patches or shiny bumps on your skin that grow slowly over time. These lumps can be itchy and painful and, in some cases, may also ooze clear fluid or blood with contact. The most common areas affected by Basla cell carcinoma are areas most exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, legs, etc. Basal cell carcinoma can be treated by removing cancer from your body using various treatment methods like surgery, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, and electrodesiccation.
2. Squamous Cell Carcina
Just like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma is also a non-melanoma skin cancer, which means it is an overproduction of squamous cells in the epidermis (the top layer of your skin). It is the second most common type of skin cancer and begins in the squamous cells of your epidermis. The most common areas affected by squamous cell carcinoma are areas on the body that are most exposed to sunlight.
However, this cancer may also affect areas of the body with mucous membranes, such as the inner lining of your organs or body cavities (like mouth or anus)
There are two types of squamous cell carcinomas cutaneous – cancer that only affects the top layer of the skin and metastatic that grows beyond this to other parts of the body. Common symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include rough-feeling growths and bumps on the skin that crust over and bleed like a scab. Wounds and sores on the skin may not heal and grow higher than the skin but sink down (depression) in the middle.
The most dangerous and invasive type of skin cancer, melanoma, is a serious disease with the highest risk of death among all other types of skin cancer. The word melanoma means "black tumor" because it is the most dangerous and has the ability to spread to any other organ. Melanoma comes from the cells "melanocytes" that produce melanin (dark pigment) in our skin. This is why most melanomas are black or brown in color, while others can be pink, purple, or red.
Some melanomas grow in existing moles in your skin, but others only start in normal skin, which is why it is important to pay attention to any changes in your skin. However, the presence of moles helps predict how risky it is for your skin to develop melanoma. The major cause of melanoma is overexposure to sunlight, which can be dangerous if caught at a later stage. However, thankfully, it can be treated using treatment methods like melanoma surgery, metastasectomy, and lymphadenectomy if caught at an early stage.
Consult a Dermatologist for Skin Cancer!
Skin cancer is an extremely dangerous disease and must not be taken lightly at any cost. If you see early signs of skin cancer on your body or are just concerned about your sun exposure and would like to rule out the risks of developing any type of skin cancer, we suggest you consult a good medical dermatologist.
We suggest you get in touch with Suncoast skin; they have a list of reputable dermatologists that specialize in diagnosing and treating skin cancers using various treatment methods, including Mohs surgery. So consult a dermatologist before it gets too late!
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Pete / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Hudson, Leesburg, Riverview, Brooksville, Clearwater, Ocala, Palm Harbor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Punta Gorda, Seminole, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.