The uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells result in the condition we know as Skin Cancer. This is the blight of light skinned people and can most often be attributed to overexposure to ultraviolet rays. The cancer can however occur in areas not exposed to sunlight. Dark skinned people are at a much lower risk of skin cancer although its incidence among them is not unheard of. The skin cells mutate, multiplying rapidly to form malignant tumours.
Generally speaking Skin Cancer can be divided into Melanoma and Non-Melanoma. The former, although better known, is the less common of the two cancers. While considering Skin Cancer Symptoms it is therefore necessary to keep this distinction in mind. Skin Cancer is the most common form of human Cancer.
Skin Cancer: Melanoma
Melanoma is the more aggressive of the two cancer types and develops in the melanin-producing cells of the skin. These cells are located in the lowest layer of the epidermis. By dint of its origins Melanoma is more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma will typically show up in changes in the appearance of a mole or the pigmented area of the skin. The appearance of an irregularly shaped lesion, with portions that appear red blue or white should prompt one to seek medical advice. Melanoma will also show up in areas that are not typically exposed to the sun. Dark lesions on the fingertips or toes, palms and soles of the feet may indicate the presence of Melanoma Skin Cancer.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (less aggressive than Melanoma), on the other hand, develops in the upper layers of the skin and is usually cured when identified and treated early. Vigilance is however necessary throughout one’s life to catch any signs of its recurrence. You are advised to know your skin shades and tone intimately to allow you to perceive any changes out of the norm. Non-Melanoma symptoms may include spots and sores that persist beyond four weeks and itchy spots that tend to be crusty and scabby and bleed for longer than a month. Persistent ulcers (identified as broken-down skin) that also do not heal within a month are among Skin Cancer Symptoms of the Non-Melanoma type. Itchy red patches on the skin may or may not be a sign of the presence of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer.
One need not agonise over their significance. A visit to the doctor will settle the question and allow for the necessary remedial action, should any be needed. A small pink or red lump that slowly grows over time should also be brought to the attention of your dermatologist.
Outside the two major Skin Cancer groups are other less common, but by no means benign, forms of this malady. These include the not-entirely-obscure Kaposi Sarcoma which thrives best within a compromised immune system. Originating in the skin’s blood vessels it shows up as red or purple blotches on the skin or on one’s mucous membranes. Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma (rare but extremely aggressive) originating in the oil glands in the skin causes hard painless nodules, typically on the eyelid although these may develop anywhere on the body. Merkel Cell Carcinoma, equally rare, appears as firm shiny nodules on or beneath the skin and in hair follicles. Be especially on the lookout for these shiny nodules on the head, neck and trunk.
All Skin Cancers respond positively to treatment as long as they are identified early and the necessary intervention applied timely. There is a whole range of treatments available to tackle skin cancer. These include topical creams prescribed by the dermatologist and applied directly to the skin, the traditional chemo and radiotherapies with their attendant side effects, and Alternative Treatment methods which continue to gain traction and widespread acceptance.
We offer Integrative Treatments for Skin Cancers and welcome any enquiries in this respect.