Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. There are different types of skin cancer, but the three most common types are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Individuals with skin cancer may experience different symptoms depending on the type of skin cancer they have.
Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a painless bump or white patch on the skin. This type of skin cancer often occurs on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, ears, and neck. Over time, the bump may bleed, crust over, or become an open sore. In some cases, the skin may become discolored or develop a shiny or waxy appearance.
Squamous cell carcinoma often appears as a firm, red bump on the skin that may have a scaly or crusted surface. Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma typically occurs on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, ears, neck, and hands. The bump may grow rapidly and become an open sore that does not heal. Other symptoms may include a rough or bumpy patch of skin or a growth that looks like a wart. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see a doctor.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can have various symptoms. The most common symptom is an unusual-looking mole or growth on the skin that appears different from other moles you may have. It may be a new or existing mole, and it may change in size, shape, or color. Other symptoms of melanoma can include dark or black patches, scaly or itchy skin, bleeding or oozing, and inflammation or swelling. In some cases, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body and cause additional symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, and pain or discomfort. If you notice any suspicious moles or growths on your skin or experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Skin cancer is most commonly detected through regular self-examination and dermatologist evaluations. The ABCDE method is a common guideline used to identify potential skin cancer. This includes examining moles and other skin lesions for Asymmetry, irregular Borders, uneven Color, a Diameter larger than 6mm, and any Evolution in size or shape over time.
If a suspicious spot is found, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. In this procedure, a small piece of the skin is removed and examined under a microscope. Other tests such as dermatoscopy, a non-invasive magnified examination of the skin, may also be used to detect skin cancer. It is important to maintain regular skin exams and to contact a doctor if any concerning changes or symptoms are noticed.
Skin cancer symptoms can appear in any part of the body that is exposed to the sun. However, the areas that are most commonly affected include the face, scalp, neck, ears, chest, arms, and hands. These areas are often exposed to the sun and may develop abnormal growths or changes in skin color. Skin cancer can also develop on skin that is not exposed to the sun, such as the soles of the feet or under the nails. It is important to regularly check all areas of the body, including areas that are not commonly exposed to the sun, for any signs of skin cancer. Any unusual growths, changes in the color or texture of the skin, or persistent sores should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
SRT or Superficial Radiotherapy is a highly successful skin cancer treatment option for Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, without the pain and surgery involved in other skin cancer treatment methods like MOHS.