Mahesh Memorial Trust

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of the skin. There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer.

Basal cell cancers, also known as rodent ulcers, cause severe local damage and mutilation locally if left unchecked. They do not commonly spread to distant tissues. They show excellent response to therapy.

Squamous cell carcinomas also occur in the areas of highest exposure to the sun, such as the top of the nose, forehead, lower lips and hands (especially the back of the hands). Squamous cancers are more likely to spread to neighboring lymph nodes or distant tissues.

A spot or lump on the skin.
A sore or an ulcer, which refuses to heal, and bleeds readily on touch, but maybe absolutely painless.
Examination of the sore/lump
Biopsy - Removal of a small piece of representative tissue for examination under the microscope.
Staging in Skin Cancer
Staging may require additional imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI, sonography, bone scan, or chest x-ray.
Side Effects in Skin Cancer
Extreme fatigue
Radiation dermatitis - Skin covering the radiated area becomes red, dry, itchy, and may show signs of scaling off. This will slowly settle down after radiation ceases, but there may be a permanent 'bronzing' of the skin.
Radiation also may cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, urinary discomfort and fall in the white blood cells.
Skin rashes, loss of hair, diarrhea, vomiting, tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes and hearing loss.
Biological therapy may result in low-grade fever.
Risk Factors
Fair skinned people who spend a lot of time in the sun
Albinos - People lacking the genetic make up to form melanin.
People with light-colored hair and eyes.
People with large number of moles, or moles of unusual size or shape.
Family history of skin cancer or a personal history of blistering sunburn.
Working or playing outdoors for long durations.
Living closer to the equator, at a higher altitude, or in any place that gets intense, year-round sunshine.
People who have received therapeutic radiation treatments for adolescent acne.