Melanoma—the most serious form of skin cancer—is rare, but the number of cases is still cause for concern. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 87,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma every year, and nearly 10,000 die from the disease. Regular self-checks will help you recognize skin cancer signs
Tag: basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of all skin cancers. Though it doesn’t spread like melanoma, it can cause disfiguring scars if not identified and treated early. Basal cell carcinoma starts in basal cells; the cells that line the top layer of skin and produce new cells as old ones die.
As with other types of skin cancer, the cause of most basal cell carcinomas is cellular damage resulting from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Most basal cell carcinomas are found on areas of the skin that have received a lot of sun exposure; like the face, scalp, neck, shoulders, and back.
One of the hallmark signs of a basal cell carcinoma is an open sore that bleeds or crusts over and never seems to heal. The cancer can also form a shiny or waxy bump, sometimes with blood vessels running through it. Or, it can take the form of a scaly reddish patch. In rare cases, basal cell carcinomas resemble a white, waxy scar. If you notice any growth that’s new or changing, call your dermatologist for an appointment.
The doctor will do a biopsy, removing a small sample of tissue from the growth to check it for cancer. For small cancers, the doctor can use a tool called a curette to scrape it off, and then seal the skin underneath with an electric needle. In Mohs surgery, the doctor removes thin layers of the tissue, one at a time, examining each layer under a microscope until all the cancer cells are gone. For larger cancers, the dermatologist can use a scalpel to remove the whole growth, along with some of the skin around it. This is called surgical excision.
Lasers, radiation, and freezing are other methods used to remove basal cell carcinoma. Cancers that are not very deep may be treated with topical drugs such as imiquimod (Aldara), and fluorouracil (Carac, Fluoroplex, Efudex).
Skin cancer may seem less threatening than breast, lung, or colon cancers, but if you have the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma, it can be fatal. A dermatologist can perform a thorough screening of your skin, but between appointments, you need to monitor your skin for signs of
People with fair complexions, red hair, blue eyes, and freckles typically are considered to be at greater risk of skin cancer than their darker-skinned counterparts. Research has shown that melanomas and other skin cancers occur more commonly in Caucasians than in other racial groups.
However, a new study suggests that African-Americans
Over-exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can not only cause pre-mature aging of the skin, but it can also increase your risk of skin cancer. No matter what your age, it’s crucial that you take steps to limit sun damage and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer,
If the headlines about a drug related to B vitamins helping to prevent skin cancer tempted you to toss your sunscreen and broad-brimmed hat, think again. The findings were exciting because the hope of preventing cancer with vitamins has largely proven elusive, and the researchers declared their results ready to
Newsbriefs: Nerve Reconstruction in Neck; Acupressure for Breast Cancer Survivors; Skin Disease Protection
Reconstructing Nerve in Neck Improves Breathing
A study led by UCLA researchers found that in people with breathing difficulties caused by phrenic nerve injury surgical reconstruction of the nerve can improve breathing, and lead to an increase in regular physical activities. Some people develop the injury after a major operation such
Topical Skin Cream for Basal Cell Carcinoma.
UK scientists investigated the effectiveness of imiquimod, a topical skin cream, to treat low-risk basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, compared to standard treatment with Mohs surgery or excisional surgery. Mohs surgery involves removing one layer of tissue at a time,
Cancer is the name for a collection of related diseases. The distinguishing characteristic of all them is that cells divide, grow, and spread (metastasize) to other tissues of the body.
Skin cancer, then, is the abnormal growth of skin cells. It is responsible for one-third of all cancers in the United
During the past 12 months, skin cancer and skin disease research advances have been reported in record numbers. Almost every week, another step has been made toward diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions that can affect all of us.
As a result, cure rates have never been higher. The overall five-year survival