Doctor insights on:
Can Skin Cancer Kill You
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
Slowly.: Cancer cells are damaged cells that can't stop reproducing. So they keep multiplying and don't stop. These cells also create a blood supply that feeds them all the nutrients you eat. Sometimes they spread to other areas of the body and keep multiplying and feeding off your food. Eventually your body doesn't get most of the nutrients and slowly dies while the cancer grows by stealing food. ...Read more
Needs evaluation: Do you sores that will not heal? Pale skin or red hair? Have you had common exposure to bright sunlight with frequent sunburns? Are there nodules on your skin that are growing irregularly. Check with your dermatologist if any of these are present. ...Read more
Can be: There can be a family component to many cancers including skin cancers. This should not be taken lightly. Sun exposure is another large risk factor for skin cancer. The two together can be very dangerous. If you have a strong family history, lots of sun exposure, or any enlarging skin lesions, be evaluated by your local doctor and/or dermatologist. ...Read more
See a doc.: Most skin cancers are diagnosed by biopsy of the skin. If you are concerned that you have a skin malignancy, see a physician or other provider or go to a clinic. Treatment may include excision of the lesion and/or in some instances treatment with a topical solution / ointment. Do not neglect or ignore a skin cancer, as some can have serious health impacts. ...Read more
It depends: There are different types of skin cancers. For melanoma, it can present as mole or pigmented lesions that changes color, grows, ulcerates and bleeds. For squamous cell ca, early stage starts like tiny skin plaques with thick flicky skin that can grow ulcerate with heaved up margins. Basal cell ca may have different forms but check with you physcian if not sure. ...Read more
Yes, but it varies: The most common factor causing skin cancers is sun exposure. There are some genetic disorders which make an individual more prone to developing a skin cancer. Different families and/or syndromes have different risks of cancer. If you have any skin lesions which are suspicious, be sure to have them checked out. If you have a strong family history, see your dermatologist early. Best wishes! ...Read more
TNM: Cancers are generally staged according to a t-n-m classification. A tumor is scored based on characteristics of the tumor, nodal spread, and metastasis. So, based on the size or depth of a skin cancer, it will receive a certain t score. The n score is based on whether it has spread to lymph nodes, and the m score tells you if it has spread to a distant site. The combination gives the staging. ...Read more
Majority are cured: Majority of skin cancer- like squamous cell, basal cell cancer- even melanoma- will be cured with surgical resection- if caught early. However if melanoma/cancerous mole is not caught early and already spreads to other distant organs then that would make it incurable. Other skin cancers such as skin lymphoma (cutaneous t cell lymphoma) - can be also difficult to cure- however it is treatable. ...Read more
Changing lesions: Lesions that are most concerning for cancer are non healing and frequently bleed or crust. Cancers such as basal cell cancers can have overlying vascularity called telangiectasias which are pathognomonic. Melanoma can be asymmetric, have irregular borders, pigment changes, be large in diameter and evolve or change over time. ...Read more
It is unlikely for a 15 yo to get the most common types of skin cancer, namely squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma. However, the deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma, can certainly occur in a 15 yo or even in younger patients.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults aged 25-29 ; the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults aged 15-29. ...Read more
Skin cancer tx: There is no natural way of dealing with skin cancer. They need to be surgically removed. Some skin cancers, like early basal cell carcinoma and early squamous cell carcinoma can be treated with topical applications of an immune system stimulating cream. More developed versions of these need to be surgically removed. Melanoma always needs surgical treatment. ...Read more
Skin Cancer: Skin cancer is absolutely considered a real cancer and should not be ignored! However, there are many types of skin cancer that have different prognoses. Some of the less invasive types, such as basal cell carcinoma, are occasionaly referred to as "good" cancers. Although no cancer is good cancer, these types tend to spread less frequently and have excellent prognoses if treated properly. ...Read more
Do monthly skin exam and look for the abcde of melanoma: look at moles or lesions for:
asymetry: two halfs are not equal.
Border: irregular border
color: different colors in the same mole
d: diameter: size 6 mm or larger (the size of the erasure end of a pencil).
E: evolution: change over time: a mole that starts to itch or bleed or change in color or size... ...Read more
A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and ...Read more