• Skin Cancer Symptoms

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    The number of cases of of skin cancer has increased over the past 10-12 years. Most people prefer to spend their vacations outdoors, in the sun. Depletion of the ozone layer can enhance the effect of UV rays on the skin. The number of skin cancer patients can be reduced if the society is notified of the causes of this disease.

    The cause of cancer of any organ is the violation of the normal life of its cells. There is a violation of the normal structure of DNA in such a way that the cell begins to constantly divide, and all other processes in it cease. This disease can spread from one tissue to another. If the disease spreads, it can disable the mechanism that is able to prevent the constant division of cells. This is a very dangerous disease, not only because it can change the normal structure of the organ, but also because it spreads through the blood and lymph vessels throughout the rest of the body, beginning to develop in vital organs such as the lungs, liver and brain. In the latter stages, cancerous tumors can block the supply of nutrients and other substances necessary for the normal functioning of the body.

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    Agents that damage DNA, called carcinogens, that contribute to the development of cancer( cigarette smoke, certain foods, radiation, certain types of viruses and other factors) have the same strong impact as UVB and UVA sunlight.

    Any of the above factors can lead to cancer( see further in the table).There are two processes that precede the onset of cancer: keratosis, which sometimes leads to carcinoma, or limited precancerous melanosis, which may precede the formation of melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma does not have precancerous stages.

    Cancer from the basal cells of the epithelium( basal cell carcinoma, basioma) is the most common form of this disease. Nevertheless, most cases of skin cancer are predictable in advance and can be cured at an early stage of development by dermatologists, who can easily identify this disease.

    The first two are known as non-melanoma skin cancer.

    Basal cell carcinoma( basioma) is the most aggressive type of cancer that affects the basal layer of the epidermis. The resulting tumor grows slowly, often at first it is very small, it seems that this area of ​​skin is burned to meat, it is a pearl-sized growth, often it appears on the face, shoulders or on the back of the elderly. Over time, it increases, starting to occupy an increasing portion of the skin, which primarily causes problems. Sunlight plays a key role in the formation of this type of cancer, but there are other, equally important factors, because not all areas of the skin are constantly exposed to the sun, such as back or hands.

    In addition, although this type of disease is more common in the elderly, it can also be affected at a young age. The main danger of the disease lies in the fact that it actually corrodes the skin, gradually penetrating into the deeper layers of tissues, progressing over the years, although, fortunately, it never spreads to other parts of the body.

    Solar keratosis( actinic or senile keratosis) is the result of a disruption in the growth of cells that produce keratin in the epidermal layer of the skin, most often in the case when the skin is exposed to sunlight for too long, mainly the face, ears, back of the palms and skull skinbalding men.

    This disease is typical for people with a third skin type or for people with easily blushing skin, aged 60 years and over, mainly in people living in warm, sunny climates. Most often these tumors are less than a centimeter in diameter, reddish or brownish, scaly or hard, unpleasant to the touch;sometimes it's easier to feel than to see. You can stop the spread of the disease before it grows on the fingers or on the palms, - the skin on the place where the tumor began to grow, more "rough" than usual. Any similar formation that suddenly appears on the skin can be caused by solar keratosis.

    Solar keratosis may be a precursor of squamous cell carcinoma, but it is much less common than basal cell carcinoma;only in very rare cases, the tumors formed become malignant, and in some cases they even disappear, most often when the contact of this skin with the sun is minimized. Often, to remove the tumor, act more decisively - by cryotherapy or by cutting it;Also the treatment with various ointments is conducted, you can learn more about it on p.55-56.The main thing is to treat as early as possible in order to avoid the risk of getting squamous cell carcinoma.

    Squamous cell carcinoma( squamous cell carcinoma) is the second most common cancer of the skin;it also affects the cells that produce keratin in the epidermis. Most often they suffer people over 50, with a "blushing" type of skin that has been exposed to regular sunlight for a long period of their lives, living in a warm climate or working in the sun, or simply relaxing outdoors. In the early stages, the affected area of ​​the skin is reddish or brownish and may be slightly thickened in places where the skin is most exposed to the sun;as a rule, the tumor is larger and coarser to the touch than with cancer of the basal cells of the skin. Most often, the tumor appears in the form of small spots of irregular shape, sometimes resembling sunny keratosis. In any case, if a tumor or other such kind of education does not pass within a few weeks or months, you need to consult a doctor. As a rule, in the treatment of squamous cell cancer, the tumor is simply excised, except when it reaches the last stages of development - then the treatment is much more complicated.

    Malignant melanoma is the most rare type of skin cancer, it affects only 10% of skin cancer patients. But this is the most dangerous of these diseases - 75% of cases end in a lethal outcome.

    Melanoma is the least frequent, but the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Unfortunately, cases of melanoma have become more frequent in recent decades. For women, for example, only the number of cases of lung cancer grows faster than melanoma. It is the most common type of cancer in women aged 29 to 34 years. Melanoma develops from melanocytes - cells that are in the skin and produce a dark pigment melanin, which serves to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. People with darker skin develop more melanin and, in general, are at a lower risk for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma, compared to people with pale skin. There is a direct relationship between the frequency of sunburn( especially repeated sunburns under the age of 20 years) and cancers of the skin. However, other factors, including the presence of a family history and skin type, are also risk factors.

    Melanoma can develop anywhere in the body. The most common are areas periodically exposed to the sun, for example, the trunk and legs. One type of melanoma, however, is associated with constant exposure to the sun and most often develops on the face and arms. In the absence of treatment, melanoma can quickly spread( metastasize) to other parts of the body. Metastatic melanoma is often fatal, so its detection and treatment is vital.

    Melanoma can be characterized by an asymmetric shape;unevenness of the border;change of color;diameter larger than the elastic at the end of the pencil.

    The effect of therapy depends on when the disease was detected. The earlier it was revealed, the more likely it is to be cured, so it's extremely important to monitor yourself to identify such a dangerous disease in the early stages of development. This type of cancer affects melanocyte cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis, the tumor is similar to a large mole, about 6 mm in diameter( about the size of the blunt end of the pencil), which irregularly grows and darkens for several months. If you have something similar, be sure to consult your doctor. Most melanomas develop from birthmarks, although birthmarks on the skin are normally completely harmless. This is a fairly common phenomenon, but nevertheless people with easily burning skin should not often be exposed to the sun. Most often, primary tumors appear on the body( in men) and lower( in women), in older people they can appear on the face, this is a relatively less aggressive form. The latter type of tumor, as a rule, develops within months, several years after appearance, grows irregularly, has an unpleasant dark brown color, these are the so-called birthmarks, which later become malignant.

    Malignant melanoma can begin to develop at any time, most often it begins to grow after 50 years and rarely up to 16 years. Among other things, although this type of cancer is the least frequent, in the UK every year it affects one, out of 10,000-15,000 people, which totals between 4,000 and 5,000, although of course this includes those who are at increased risk.

    The so-called ABHDD system describes the main signs of the development of this type of cancer: they often change and do not always appear all at once, but after their appearance the disease begins to develop rapidly within a few weeks or months.

    Most people may have papules of pink or brown color called the Spitz nevus, usually arising during adolescence, but sometimes this occurs later in life. Most often they do not pose any danger, but if they cause suspicions, it is better to consult a doctor. In the early stages of development, the tumor is treated quite simply and passes without consequences.

    Causes of

    The cause of melanoma is unknown;most likely, it consists of a combination of genetic factors and excessive exposure to the sun.

    • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation( either solar or from artificial sources such as ultraviolet lamps) can provoke melanoma. The risk of damage to the skin and the development of melanoma increases with the accumulation of time spent under ultraviolet radiation.

    • Hereditary factors play a role in some forms of melanoma;The presence of melanoma in a family history also increases the risk.

    • People with pale skin, blue or green eyes, with red or blond hair are most at risk of skin cancer. However, melanoma can develop in a person of any age or color.

    • The presence of an abnormal birthmark increases the risk of the disease.

    • The presence of a large number of moles on the skin is also a risk factor.

    • Melanoma can develop in a birthmark that is available from birth. If the birthmark is very large, it can occur at the age of up to five years;with small moles this can happen at any time, even in old age.

    • The risk of developing melanoma increases with age.

    • Any change in the appearance of the mole. Such changes include an asymmetric form;unevenness of the border;color change;The increase in diameter to dimensions is greater than the eraser at the end of the pencil.

    • Flat spot irregular shape or bloating anywhere on the skin. The spot or swelling may be brown, black, blue, red, white, or multicolored;it usually does not cause any symptoms. Only sometimes it can hurt, itch or bleed.

    • Black or brown spot on the iris or sclera of the eyeball;change in the color of the iris;gradual loss of vision;pain and redness in the affected eye.

    • It is believed that the recent trend to spend more time in the sun, covering the skin as little as possible, is a factor in the increase in the incidence of skin cancer.

    • A skin biopsy is performed: some or all of the suspicious growth on the skin is removed;the tissue is sent for analysis to a specialist.

    • If a melanoma is suspected in the eye, the ophthalmologist conducts a complete examination of the eye.

    • An operation is required to remove melanoma( and usually at least half an inch of normal skin around it).In some cases, neighboring lymph nodes can be removed to determine if melanoma has spread.

    • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used in severe disease development to prevent the spread of cancer and thus weaken symptoms( although these treatments rarely lead to recovery).

    • Laser surgery, cryosurgery( in which liquid nitrogen is used to freeze affected tissue) or radiation therapy can be used to destroy malignant cells in the eye.

    • Make an appointment with a dermatologist if you notice a change in the appearance of the birthmark or the emergence of a new education. Most formations on the skin are safe, but if there is any doubt, a simple skin biopsy can determine the presence or absence of cancer.

    • Arrange for regular visits to the dermatologist after the first appearance of melanoma because of the increased likelihood of subsequent manifestations of the disease.

    • Check your dermatologist regularly if your family has melanoma cases or if you are at a high risk of melanoma or other cancers of the skin. Relatives of people at high risk of disease should also undergo a regular examination.

    • Visit an ophthalmologist if you experience melanoma of the eye.

    • It is often necessary to make a skin test: once every few months for people with a low risk of skin cancer;more often for those who are classified as high risk. When examining, stand in front of the mirror and slowly examine the entire surface of the skin, check for changes in existing moles and any new skin or stain damage. Do not neglect difficult areas;in this you can help the second mirror. Correct examination helps in early diagnosis and treatment.

    • Whenever possible, avoid exposure to direct sunlight between 10.00 and 14.00.

    • Protect yourself from sunlight by wearing protective clothing, such as a hat and shirt with long sleeves.

    • Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher before going outside. Apply it often, especially after swimming or strong sweating.

    • Avoid cabins for artificial sun and ultraviolet lamps.

    • Use your own example to teach children to apply measures for proper protection from the sun. Being in the sun in childhood and adolescence increases the likelihood of skin damage later.

    • Those who have already had melanoma once are at greater risk of developing the disease again, For this reason, preventive measures are particularly important.

    At the moment there is no doubt that the main cause of cancer are UV rays of the sun.


    A - CHANGE OF THE EXTERNAL KIND OF MIDS.Usually birthmarks do not change, otherwise they quickly develop, and often the initiator is a minor damage to the birthmark, the birthmark. You need to immediately consult a doctor if you have stains continuously changing, especially if it happens quickly. A tumor can grow darker as it grows, its boundaries become wider or lose its clarity.

    B - CONTOURS OF SPOT ARE LUBRICATED.Most often the birthmarks have clear outlines and a smooth surface, in contrast to melanoma, the boundaries of which are blurred outlines. A tumor with a lesion strongly BLOOD or itch for a week or more, besides, as it was indicated earlier, it is continuously developing.

    IN - COLOR.The usual birthmark is brown, it has a smooth surface. In contrast, the malignant tumor is brownish-black in color, as it grows its surface loses its smoothness. It can have both light brown, dark brown parts, sometimes even red or black at the edges. Color also changes color within a week or month. D - DIAMETER.Ordinary birthmarks in diameter do not exceed the size of a pencil;in contrast to them, melanomas are much larger and wider, they reach 5-6 mm in diameter.

    D - GROWTH.A normal mole does not increase its size in a week or a month, unlike melanoma.

    As with skin burning, and in case of aging, the main cause is the effect of UVB.As mentioned earlier, these rays are most capable of breaking the structure of the DNA of skin cells, which controls all the processes in the cell, as well as its growth.

    If this kind of damage is not completely restored, it can lead to the development of skin cancer, perhaps it depends on age.

    Among other things, UVB rays can destroy the immune system of the skin.

    Since skin cancer develops in several stages, it may be necessary to change the structure of several DNA for its development, which can take more time;therefore, for example, burning in the sun in childhood, we may increase our risk of developing skin cancer in the future. During this time, the amount of damage accumulates. This time interval is very large: from 30 to 50 years for scaly melanoma;from 10 to 15 years - for cancer of basal skin cells and melanoma. Of course, it still depends on what type of skin this particular person has.

    However, some people with skin cancer say they never sunbathed and never exposed their skin to direct sunlight. This happens only in people with easily burning skin, because they are very sensitive to the sun and even minimal impact on the skin of the sun rays at an early age can increase the possibility of a cancerous tumor in the future.

    On the other hand, people who spend most of their work or free time outdoors, regardless of the weather - rain or sun, are still at risk of developing skin cancer. For example, those who developed skin cancer, could previously serve in the Far East, or work on a farm, or just strongly sunbathed every summer in adolescence or a little older. But even knowing about the danger, people still continue to expose their skin to intense sunlight. The earlier you stop being exposed to the sun, the more chances you have to avoid sunny keratosis or skin cancer. The relationship between the duration of sun exposure and skin cancer is especially evident for keratosis and scaly skin cancer: almost always they develop on constantly exposed areas, such as the face and back of the hands. The same pattern is also characteristic of malignant melanoma, although it is much more difficult to explain it. This type of skin cancer is most often affected by people with burning skin, who have a lot of pigment spots, especially unusual forms, as well as those who abuse sunbathing. Melanoma, if it is formed, is located on those areas of the skin that usually remain closed, but due to some conditions they were exposed to strong sunlight: for example, a torso or legs below the knee. This suggests that the recurring sunburn of those skin areas that normally remain closed increases the risk of developing melanoma and that you should avoid such exposure.

    Among other things, we still do not know exactly what is common between basal cell carcinoma and sun exposure, as well as other factors that indirectly affect the development of this disease.

    There is a very strong relationship between sun exposure and skin cancer that has arisen for other reasons;In 90% of cases it is possible to prevent the development of the disease if people take appropriate measures to protect the skin from sunlight at an early stage of cancer development.

    People with I, II and III skin types, i.e. with easily burning skin, are more prone to diseases such as skin aging from the sun or skin cancer;Ocular skin only increases this risk.

    Other people who have tanned skin and who spend most of their life outdoors or like to relax outdoors, for example, cycling, working in the garden, playing tennis, cricket or golf, or those who just live in thesummer climate, such as the tropics, are less susceptible to these diseases.

    As mentioned earlier, some people with skin cancer claim that they never burned in the sun, did not work in the open air, and therefore it is not known how they could get sick. Most often, of course, these are people with very sensitive skin to the sun, who spent a lot of time in the sun in childhood or sunburned - not for long, but very much: for example during walks or during off-hours, just sitting, for example, in a dinerin the sun or taking care of the flowers in the garden. In addition, although not yet fully proven, cigarette smoke can also cause cancer.

    People at risk of developing melanoma are people with easily burning skin, although in addition to the sun, there are many equally strong factors that affect the onset of the disease. Also at risk are those people who have a lot of freckles, especially when they are irregularly shaped, if in addition melanoma suffered from someone close relatives. Such people need to limit their desire to tan as much as possible. Also, such people should beware of the cancer of the basal cells of the skin, the exact causes of which have not yet been revealed, especially if among close relatives there are those who have already suffered from this disease.

    Skin cancer is very likely to be prevented. It is found that in 90% of cases, it will be sufficient to simply reduce the effect on the skin of UV rays. You can achieve this by following the simple rules listed below:

    • Make your daily routine so that you are least likely to be on the street between 11.00 and 15.00 in the summer, or in the tropics, or high above sea level.

    The best time for walks is when the sun is low over the horizon, even if a cool or cloudy day has come out. And it is even more important to observe this rule in clear weather or if there are large white surfaces nearby( snow or ripples on the water).If you absolutely need to take a sun bath, do it, avoiding such conditions. This will reduce the intensity of UV radiation, even in hot and sunny weather.

    • Try to dress appropriately: wear a wide-brimmed hat, light, loose clothes with long sleeves, shelter from the effects of sunlight, and the same light pants;you can buy special clothes that do not pass the UV rays, which is best able to protect you.

    • Take care not to spoil the protective lotion, especially between 11:00 and 15:00 in the summer months, in the tropics or high in the mountains. Do not be lazy to update the layer of lotion every hour or even more often if you are engaged in swimming or training.

    • It is imperative to adhere to these rules for young children, whose skin is much more sensitive and least protected from the action of solar UV.

    The best time for inspection is after taking a shower or bath. Use 2 mirrors: full-length and small, preferably with a long handle - their combination allows you to view all areas of the body. Also, for the examination of the head, a comb / comb or hair dryer is required( with their help you can expose the skin under the scalp).Inspection should be carried out in a well-lit room, you may also need a small flashlight.

    Should pay attention to:

    new birthmarks( unlike others),
    new red or dark-colored formation, slightly rising above the skin,
    resizing, shape, color, birthmark,
    wounds that do not heal.

    Sequence of actions for inspection:

    I. Standing in front of a large mirror, look at the face: pay attention to the lips, the skin near the ears and eyes. Using a flashlight, check the oral cavity, nostrils and auricles. Then examine the neck, shoulders, chest.

    II.Take the second mirror and use it to inspect the skin behind the ears, neck and upper back. Using a hand mirror and a hair dryer / comb, consistently inspect the skin of the skull. If you are experiencing difficulties, ask for help from relatives.

    III.Check the skin in the abdominal area, from the sides. Pay great attention to the back: this is a very common localization of malignant neoplasms. Examine the genital area and buttocks.

    IV.Then, standing in front of the mirror, raise your hands and examine them from all sides. Do not forget about the armpits and the skin between your fingers.

    V. Inspection of the legs is more convenient when sitting. Bend one leg and use a hand mirror to check all areas of the skin, including the feet and toes.