SKIN CANCER – MALIGNANT SKIN AND MUCOSAL LESIONS
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant TUMOURS.
There are two main types of skin cancers: (1) NONMELANOMA(Epithelial Skin Cancers): Basal-cell skin cancer (BCC), Squamous-cell skin cancer (SCC)
.(2) Melanoma skin Melanoma (skin & mucosal types). Melanomas are one of the most aggressive types of skin cancer.
The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery or, in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.
Become familiar with the look of your skin, so you pick up any changes that might suggest a skin cancer. Look for:
- any crusty, non-healing sores
- small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour
- new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months.
- Melanoma may begin as a mole that grows, changes in color or size, or develops irregular borders; or it may start as a flat or raised area of skin. The melanoma may be painless or feel sore or become irritated, scaly, crusty, or itchy. It may bleed easily.
Diagnosis for skin cancer
Thyroglossal cyst, Lymphangiomas, Carotid body tumour, Tumour arising from nerves & blood vessels, Lymphomas (Hodgkins & Non-Hodgkins)
Treatment for skin cancer
Skin cancers are almost always removed. In more advanced skin cancers, some of the surrounding tissue may also be removed to make sure that all of the cancerous cells have been taken out.
The most common treatment for skin cancer is surgery to remove the cancer (usually under a local anaesthetic). Common skin cancers can be treated with ointments or radiotherapy. Skin cancer can also be removed with cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to rapidly freeze the cancer off), curettage (scraping) or cautery (burning).