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Skin cancer ... how to detect it?

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28 May 2018
Skin cancer ... how to detect it? | Clinique les Oliviers

Skin cancer is considered one of the most common cancers in the world.
Several factors favor its appearance and its aggravation, including overexposure to the sun.
What are the different types of skin cancer? What causes it? How to detect it and what treatment should be adopted?

What are the different types of skin cancer?

There are two types of skin cancer:
Carcinoma: this is the most common cancer, affecting mostly people over 50 years old.
This cancer is manifested by whitish or red patches and roughness of skin.
Melanoma: this cancer develops from a mole. It is considered more dangerous than carcinoma because it can spread to other organs.

What are the causes of skin cancer?

Several factors can cause skin cancer. We will mention the main ones:
Overexposure to the sun (ultraviolet rays). Indeed, the risks associated with prolonged exposure to the sun are very numerous, and increase in people with fair skin.
Prolonged exposure to artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation. These are sunlamps from tanning salons that, if used excessively, can cause skin cancer.
Prolonged skin contact with chemicals
It should be noted that the type of skin as well as the presence of moles on parts exposed to the sun, can be important risk factors for skin cancer.
It should also be noted that exposure to the sun can cause skin damage in childhood and, after several years, cause skin cancer because of its cumulative effect.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

To detect skin cancer, it is essential to regularly examine your skin and monitor your moles, as this type of cancer is not manifested by pain, bleeding or itching.
That said, some symptoms can alert you:
The appearance of a discoloration of the skin: pale or pink, with a waxy or "beaded" appearance. This may appear on the face, ears or neck. In this case it could be a basal cell carcinoma.
The appearance of a rough and scaly lesion on the surface of the skin exposed to the sun, or a firm and verrucous pink nodule. In this case it could be squamous cell carcinoma.
The appearance of a brown flat mark that rapidly changes shape, appearance and color. In this case it could be a simple melanoma.
The change of appearance or shape of a mole. Its edges become irregular, its diameter increases and its non-homogeneous color. In this case, it could be a melanoma developed from a mole.

What skin cancer treatment should be used?

Although it is very common, particularly in Europe, skin cancer is, thankfully, one of the cancers that heals the best.
Just check your skin regularly and quickly consult a specialist as soon as any suspicious sign appears.
In most cases, skin cancer is treated with surgery.
During this procedure, the surgeon extracts the cancerous tumor after having performed local anesthesia. On the other hand, if the cancer is of very small size, a simple destruction of the diseased tissues is carried out, using liquid nitrogen.
During the surgical procedure, the specialist performs a biopsy so the results will give more details on the diagnosis.
In case the diagnosis demonstrates the presence of metastases or announces a possibility of recurrence, radiotherapy and / or chemotherapy may be adopted.
However, it is important to remember that the best treatment for skin cancer is prevention.

Useful tips to protect you from the sun

To protect yourself against the sun and its multiple risks, avoid any exposure between noon and 4pm.
Also remember to always use sunscreen and wear a hat to protect your neck and face.
For infants, children and adolescents, special attention must be given as their skin is very fragile and easily affected.