Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in Australia. Skin cancers can kill and their seriousness shouldn’t be under estimated. As any other cancer, skin cancers of several types and subtypes and they differ in their aggressiveness accordingly.
Types of skin cancer:
1 – Basal Cell Carcinoma, the commonest type of skin cancer
2 – Squamous Cell Carcinoma
1&2 collectively known as Non Melanoma Skin Cancers NMSC
3- Melanoma, the most serious type skin cancer
4- Others: a few rare skin cancers
How skin cancer develops:
over exposure to the sun gives you a large dose of ultraviolet (UV) light and the this causes changes in the skin cells to overgrow in an abnormal way, forming abnormal cluster of cells called cancer.
There are tow types of UV light
1. UV B – the healthy light which is required by human’s skin to form vitamin D. UV B can not penetrate glass.
2. UV A – the harmful light which damages the skin and causes skin cancers. UV A can penetrate glass and it can cause skin damage even when you are sitting behind glass or in your car.
-Fair skin and freckles easily
-A large number of moles
-Family history of skin cancer
-Previous history of blistering sunburn
-Spent a lot of time outdoors.
– Visiting the tanning booths
Diagnosis of Skin Cancer:
– Dermoscopy is the gold standard in diagnosing melanoma. It also helps in diagnosis of other skin cancers.
– Good light
– The gut feeling and the experience of the examining health professional
– Surgical removal of skin cancer is the gold standard and is the safest way to have a curable treatment. Skin cancer surgical removal requires excising in the healthy skin and that is called the safe margin. The dimensions of the safe margin depend on the type, subtype and thickness of the skin cancer.
– Thin(superficial) NMSC can be treated by :
Creams , like aldara, picato or efudix creams
TREATMENT OF MELANOMA ALMOST ALWAYS SURGICAL
Protect your child:
The more sun exposure in infancy and childhood the more chance of moles appearing hence, the more possibility of developing skin cancer.