Skin Cancer Awareness

Each year in the UK, there are more than 65,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and more than 8,000 new cases of malignant melanoma. Skin cancer is becoming more widespread: the number of cases has doubled in the past 20 years. In fact, there are more skin cancer deaths in the UK than in Australia, even though Australia has more cases of the disease.

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma , and malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer because the cancer can spread to other organs in the body (metastasis). Melanoma skin cancer is usually pigmented or coloured and is more dangerous. Many moles aren't cancerous, but it's vital to keep an eye on them.

A range of treatment options have proved successful in treating skin cancer. But about 1,800 people still die from malignant melanoma skin cancer annually. Treatment may include surgical removal, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or biological therapy, depending on the type of skin cancer. When skin cancer is found early it is much easier to treat. If diagnosed late, treatment is not usually able to cure the cancer.

Malignant melanoma is more common in women than men, is one of the most common cancers in people aged 20 to 35 and affects people who work indoors more than those who work outside. Non-melanoma skin cancer affects men more than women, as well as older people, particularly those who have spent much time working outdoors. Too much sun exposure and getting sunburnt in childhood and the teenage years can lead to skin cancer in later life, so children in particular must be protected.

Those most at risk of skin cancer are people with light or fair skin, freckles, who burn lobster red in the sun, already have moles and/or spend too long in the sun without protection. Brown- or black-skinned people rarely get skin cancer, but everyone should be careful. There are some rare, inherited skin diseases that make people highly sensitive to sunlight and much more likely to get any type of skin cancer.

As it's not always possible to differentiate between skin cancers and benign skin conditions by examination alone, you may need to have a biopsy. If it's confirmed as cancer, it'll be removed by surgery or radiotherapy, depending on its size and type.

Melanoma Skin Cancer Treatment

Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer. It starts in the melanocytes. Here certain cancer cells appear in skin cells. This is known as melanocytes. To start with it might just be a small mole. It may also occur in the eye and intestine or any other part of the body. The symptoms of melanoma are that the color of the mole would change, it might bleed, it might not have regular border, it might be scratching, etc.

It is best to get melanoma treatment in the beginning of the disease itself. There are various methods to treat melanoma. The methods are surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and palliative care. A good way for melanoma treatment is surgery. Here the tumor is removed and so also is a tiny region from the skin which is normal. In the beginning stage just a biopsy can cure melanoma. After a surgery a skin grafting is done if necessary to cover the wounded part of the skin. After this melanoma treatment painkillers would be given in order to reduce the pain. It will take some time for the wound to cure and the skin grafting to look normal as any other part of the skin.

Radiotherapy is also a fine method of melanoma treatment. Here x-rays are used in order to destroy cells that cause cancer. This method is opted when the cancer is in the inner portion of the body. This is a long melanoma treatment might stretch up to many weeks. After radiotherapy the patient might have nausea or headaches or even redness in the skin. There might be a burning sensation a good cream that is recommended by the doctor can be used for this.

Melanoma treatment can also be done by chemotherapy. Here certain anti-cancer drugs are given in order to reduce the growth of the cancer cells. These drugs at times can even cure melanoma. This method is also opted when the cancer is found in an organ within the body. This method of melanoma treatment would take around six to twelve months. The effects of this treatment may be vomiting, tiredness, depression, loss of hair etc.

Palliative care can also be used to cure melanoma. This is done when there is no cure and the cancer has increased. Here all that can be done is to reduce the pain caused by cancer. The doctor normally prescribes drugs that can help to reduce the pain. This should be done for all cancer patients. Melanoma treatment is best when done early.

If you have medical concerns related to your skin or health in general, consult your doctor. Posts of this blog are for educational and informational purposes only.
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