Skin cancer

This paper is on skin cancer. Within this paper skin cancer will be defined as well as the types of skin cancer and also ways to prevent it and cure it. Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin, your skin protects your body against heat, light, infection, and injury and it also stores water, fat, and vitamin D. The skin has two main layers and several kinds of cells. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis. It contains three kinds of cells: flat, scaly cells on the surface called squamous cells; round cells called basal cells; and cells called melanocytes, which give your skin its color. There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These types of skin cancer are called non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is a disease of the skin in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the cells that color the skin the melanocytes. Melanoma usually occurs in adults, but it may occasionally be found in children and adolescents. It is not as common as basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, but it is much more serious.

Basal cell cancer is the most common type of non-melanoma skin cancer. It usually occurs on areas of your skin that have been in the sun. Often this cancer appears as a small raised bump that has a smooth, pearly appearance. Basal cell cancers may spread to tissues around the cancer, but it usually does not spread to other parts of the body. Squamous cell tumors also occur on areas of your skin that have been in the sun, often on the top of the nose, forehead, lower lip, and hands. They may also appear on areas of your skin that have been burned, exposed to chemicals, or had x-ray therapy. Often this cancer appears as a firm red bump. Sometimes the tumor may feel scaly or bleed or develop a crust. Squamous cell tumors may spread to the lymph nodes in the area. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. Lymph nodes produce and store infection-fighting cells. Basal cell cancer is the most common type of nonmelanoma skin cancer. It usually occurs on areas of your skin that have been in the sun. Often this cancer appears as a small raised bump that has a smooth, pearly appearance.

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Another type looks like a scar, and it is firm to the touch. Basal cell cancers may spread to tissues around the cancer, but it usually does not spread to other parts of the body. Actinic keratosis is a skin condition that is not cancer, but can change into basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer in some people. It appears as rough, red or brown, scaly patches on the skin, usually in areas that have been exposed to the sun. A few risk factors are sun burns and sun light. People should also reduce their exposure from ultra violet light produced from tanning beds. It is recommended that sunscreen should be applied every two hours when a person is exposed to sunlight between the hours of 10:00AM-3: 00PM. Sunscreen with a 15spf rating or higher should be used. If there is a history of skin cancer in your family, you are probably at a higher risk.

People with fair skin, with a northern European heritage appear to be most susceptible Other influencing factors include Ultra Violet light is stronger as elevation increases. The thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes cannot filter UV as effectively as it can at sea level. The rays of the sun are also strongest near the equator, as you might guess. But in Chile, and New Zealand, the UV level is much higher than normal due to the ozone hole in the southern hemisphere. Skin cancer is treated with three different treatments, which are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Surgery, which will be done by a dermatologist in their office. There are a few different options for surgery they are. Electrodesiccation and curettage burns the lesion and removes it with a sharp instrument. Cryosurgery freezes the tumor and kills it. Simple excision cuts the cancer from your skin along with some of the healthy tissue around it.

Micrographic surgery removes the cancer and as little normal tissue as possible. During this surgery, the doctor removes the cancer and then uses a microscope to look at the cancerous area to make sure no cancer cells remain. Laser therapy uses a narrow beam of light to remove cancer cells. Radiation therapy uses x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy for skin cancer comes from a machine outside the body. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In treating skin cancer, chemotherapy is often given as a cream or lotion placed on the skin to kill cancer cells this is called topical chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may also be taken by pill, or it may be put into the body by a needle in a vein or muscle.

Chemotherapy given in this way is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells outside the skin. Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type and stage of your disease, your age, and your overall health. Basal cell carcinoma of the skin your treatment may be one of the following. Micrographic surgery, simple excision, electrodesiccation and curettage, cryosurgery, radiation therapy, laser therapy, topical chemotherapy, clinical trials of chemoprevention, clinical trials of biological therapy, and photodynamic therapy. If a patient has squamous cell carcinoma of the skin then they would receive one of the following treatments. Micrographic surgery, simple excision, electrodesiccation and curettage, cryosurgery, radiation therapy, topical chemotherapy, laser therapy, and clinical trials of biological therapy with or without chemoprevention.

For actinic keratosis your treatment may be the topical chemotherapy, cryosurgery, electrodesiccation and curettage, removing the top layer of skin with a special machine which is also known as dermabrasion, shaving the very top layer of skin which is also shave excision, and laser therapy. Although much is known on skin cancer it is still an extremely dangerous and deadly illness. Although there are numerous ways to remove the cancer cells on the skin doctors are not one hundred percent sure that it will not come back Bibliography: http://www.cancerindex.org/clinks2s.htm#X1902 http://www.skinsurgerycenter.com/ http://search.health.yahoo.com/disease?p=skin+cancer http://oncolink.upenn.edu/disease/skin1

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