“Each year there are more new cases of Skin Cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.”
Cancer is by far one of the most fatal of diseases. Additionally, what makes Cancer a bigger threat, is the fact that occurs in several types. At We, Included, we have already discussed a few of these, approaching the basic information and symptoms for early detection. In this article, we’re raising awareness about the most common type of cancer, Skin Cancer. Essentially, Cancer is the abnormal and unrestrained growth of body cells. Thus, this type is best defined as the development of malignant skin tissues.
What is Skin Cancer?
Any type of cell present in the skin, due to failing bodily mechanism, can become cancerous. This condition is called Skin Cancer. However, before knowing the signs of this disease, let’s first understand ‘skin.’
It is just another organ of our body which helps in many tasks, such as temperature maintenance.
The two major parts of the skin are epidermis and dermis, the length can be about 2-4mm. All the major and common cells of the skin, such as keratinocytes and melanocytes, are present in this region.
There is a proper and predefined natural mechanism that every cell follows. Further, this specific system helps unite cells into tissues and, also in growing. However, there are several factors which can make these cells dysfunction and develop into cancerous ones. In the case of cancer, the most common factor is exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
The sun is the biggest source of UV-radiation, which we encounter daily. Furthermore, according to studies, more than 90% cases of skin cancer are due to the sun’s UV-radiation.
Although depending on cell types, there are many types of this cancer but on a very general level, it can be divided into two types:
-Melanoma skin cancer
-Non-melanoma skin cancer
Melanoma Skin Cancer:
Melanocytes are the cells present in the deeper epidermis and are mostly responsible for melanoma skin cancer. It is also known as malignant melanoma. It is the most threatening type of skin cancer.The most common sign includes the change in size, shape, and the colour of a mole.
One person dies of melanoma every hour.
Non-melanoma Skin Cancer:
Non-melanoma skin cancer is the name given to a group of skin cancer which includes Merkel cell carcinoma, BCC and SCC.
– Basal Cell Skin Cancer (BCC):
The basal cells are present in the deeper epidermis and hair follicle. These turn cancerous due to several factors and are known as BCC. It often starts with a raised skin area which is often painless. It may have small blood vessel running over it.
Every year approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. get diagnosed with BCC.
– Squamous Cell Skin Cancer:
It develops from the squamous cells which are present in the epidermis layer. Although it is not as common as BCC, yet, it has a high growth rate. The male to female ratio of SCC is 2:1. Although the metastasis risk is low but higher than BCC thus can spread to other body parts such as the mouth. Initial and most common sign of SCC is small nodule which later can turn into an ulcer.
According to a study in 2013, approximately 180,000-400,000 cases of SCC were in the US alone.
-People with fair skin are at more risk.
-Use of sunscreen may lessen the risk of diagnosis.
-BCC and SCC are often caused due to direct DNA damage by UV radiation.
-According to the World Health Organization, people who use artificial tanning beds are at highest risk of this cancer.
Edited by Preetika Dubey