Doctor insights on:
Can Skin Cancer Kill You
Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common 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 & ...Read more
Skin Cancer: The length of time one could survive with an untreated skin cancer depends on the type of skin cancer. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment the better the prognosis. There is no reason for an otherwise healthy person to leave skin cancer untreated. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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
Skin cancer spread: Skin cancer can spread via local extension. A basal cell carcinoma given enough time, can spread around nerve endings and other structures deep into vital territory and cause loss of the eye and even spread to the brain in very rare cases. Other tumors such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma can invade lymphatic vessels and blood vessels and spread to other organs. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
It will spread: Different cancers spread differently. All cancers will grow locally and cause damage to nearby structures. Cancers can spread to lymph nodes which drain a particular body area as well (i.e. Squamous cell, and melanoma). Some cancers (particularly melanoma) will jump to distant sites early (brain, lung, liver, etc). This is distant metastasis, and imparts poor prognosis. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
See a dermatologist: The best way to diagnose a skin cancer is to see your dermatologist. He or she will examine the spot and determine if a skin biopsy is necessary. Often times, a dermatologist can tell by looking at a spot if it is cancer or not. If you have a spot that bleeds, doesn't heal, or grows rapidly, it may be signs of skin cancer. Fortunately, most are easily treatable in the office. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
New or changes: Get to know your skin by self-exam at least once a month. Look for new lesions or changes in pre-existing ones (color, shape, size, itches or hurts or bleeds). Some skin cancers start out by looking like a pimple but a pimple will go away, a skin cancer won't. If a lesion continues to persist or get bigger over a period of a month or 2, you should get it looked at by a dermatologist. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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 moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Yes, but not common: Melanomas (and other skin cancers) are most commonly caused by sun exposure, but they rarely do appear in strange places...I have seen/known patients who have had melanomas come up under their fingernails, in the mouth or sinuses, etc. If you notice any moles on your body which are changing, have them looked at. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Melanoma iscancer of melanocytes. Melanocytesare cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. These cells predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can originate in any part of the ...Read more
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