How To Handle Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is caused by cells in the skin growing abnormally. It most often happens when you’ve been in direct sunlight for too long and the radiation in the UV rays affects the cells in the skin. There are also times that the cancerous cells and tumors grow in areas that haven’t been exposed to the sun, however. Skin cancer can be separated into three different types: melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Each type of skin cancer has its own different symptoms.
Melanoma can develop on any body part, but in men, it’s usually found on the neck, head, or torso. For women, it’s often found in the lower legs. Signs include larges and brownish spots with darker colored speckles; a bleeding mole or one that changes in feel, color, and size; or small lesions with irregular borders that look red, blue, white, and blue-black. It may appear as dark lesions found on the toes, fingertips, soles, and palms.
Squamous cell carcinoma grows in the hands, face, and ears. It looks like a firm, red nodule. It can also appear as a flat lesion with a surface that is crusted and scaly.
Basal cell carcinoma often develops on the face and neck. It is characterized by a waxy or pearly bump. A brown scar or a flat and flesh colored lesion may also occur.
Treating Skin Cancer
There are a number of different ways to treat skin cancer—the method used normally depends on the type of cancer, where it’s located, the size of it, and how deep it goes. For small cancers of the skin, no treatment may be needed except for a skin biopsy where the entire growth is removed. Once your doctor confirms that you do have this cancer type, you may go through a number of different types of treatment. When cancer is limited to the top layer of your skin, lotions or creams with anti-cancer agents can be directly applied. When it has already spread, the treatment is systemic chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is another option, although it is usually only used when the lesions cannot be surgically removed. Then there’s laser therapy. This is used to treat superficial cancer where an intense light beam is needed to vaporize the growths.
Preventing Skin Cancer
The best way of dealing with skin cancer is to prevent it from ever appearing. Here are a few things you can do:
Do not use tanning beds! They expose you to a very high amount of UV radiation.
Always wear long sleeved clothing, a hat, and other protective clothing if you’re going to be out in the sun for long periods of time.
Also don’t forget the sunscreen! You want to use something that is at least SPF 30, if not higher. Going with an SPF 50 or higher is definitely a good idea.
Consider taking a supplement that has been shown to have benefits for the body and the skin, such as an acai berry supplement.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.