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Skin Cancer – what to look out for

Friday 18 August 2017

Types of skin cancer and how to identify

 

Basal cell carcinoma

Most common and least aggressive. Biggest risk for all skin types, is daily unprotected exposure to UV light. If left untreated it can spread to the surrounding skin creating extreme cosmetic disruption, and even invade muscle or bone.

How to identify

Little pink patch, a whitish scar (current slide), a non-healing lesion that bleeds or feels sore, or even a brown, slightly translucent bump.

How to treat

Medications 

Topical Anti-Tumour  medication

Kills cancer cells on skin.

Chemotherapy

Kills cells that are growing or multiplying too quickly.

Medical procedure

Photodynamic therapy

Combines medications with light therapy to destroy abnormal cells or close blood vessels.

Tissue scrapping

Removal of tissue by scraping or scooping with a surgical instrument called a curette.

Mohs surgery

Surgical removal of skin cancer, one layer at a time, until only healthy tissue is left.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Second most common skin cancer. Areas to look out for that have the highest likelihood of being affected is the head, ears, scalp, and lips.

How to identify

Squamous cell carcinomas can look like red or pink scaly patches, a warty growth, a flesh coloured bump with a harder centre, or any lesion the bleeds, ulcerates and hurts

How to treat

Medications

Chemotherapy

Medical procedure

Mohs surgery

Surgical removal of skin cancer, one layer at a time, until only healthy tissue is left.

 

Melanoma

Melanoma is the third most common and most aggressive skin cancer in all races.

Largely due to unprotected exposure to UV light and the use of tanning booths. In fact, just one blistering sunburn doubles your lifetime risk of melanoma, and only one tanning bed session increases the risk by 75 percent.

How to identify

Melanoma can be brown, black, purple, pink, red, flesh toned, flat or raised. It can look like a line under the nail, and can occur in sun protected areas. In general, it’s a good idea to get any spot that is asymmetric, irregularly bordered / coloured, or growing in diameter checked out

 

 

 

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