How to Spot and Deal with Skin Cancer
Cancer is prevalent and lethal diseases today if it is not handled properly. A dermatologist is a skin doctor who is the right person to consult if you suspect that you might be having skin cancer.
What he will do is to examine your skin carefully and look for some definite signs of skin cancer after which he will extract that part which will be taken to the lab for more tests.
A dermatologist uses a derma-scope for this which is a device that shines a light on the skin and magnifies as well. This whole process is known as the biopsy, and it is the only way through which a skin cancer can be determined. Being diagnosed with skin cancer does not mean the end of the world as skin cancer has treatments and other control measures.
Your dermatologist can help you through this, but first of all, he has to; identify the type of skin, how aggressive the skin cancer is, your health as the cancer victim, the position of cancer on your body and to which stage has cancer developed.
This information is crucial because they are the ones that determine the type of treatment that you will use to cure or control the skin cancer. There are two main ways of treating cancer. There are the surgical methods and the non-surgical methods.
Also Read: How to reduce the risk of breast cancer
Surgical methods include
Excision which is the removal of the part of the skin that has been infected by cancer and some parts of the uninfected parts that surround the infected area.
This is normally a minor surgery and may not need to be performed in the theater.
Mohs surgery: This is performed by a Mohs surgeon and the practice is to remove skin layer by layer by the surgeon on noticing that there are skin cancer cells on these layers.
A Mohs surgeon is a type of a dermatologist who has specialized in Mohs surgery.
Curettage and electrodesiccation which involves the scrapping out of the skin cancer or tumor and killing the remaining cancer cells on the infected part using an electric needle. The electric needle gently burns these cells to death, and the wounds are not too deep and can perfectly heal without any stitches.
The process of burning the cancer cells using the electric needle is known as cauterization. Curettage and electrodesiccation are normally repeated three times to make sure that no cancer cells remains.
Also Read: Preventive measures of skin cancer
Non-surgical cancer treatments include
Immunotherapy where a special cream is applied on the victim’s skin so that it stimulates the body immune system and fight the cancer cells. This is very effective especially if the skin cancer has been detected at a very early stage.
Chemotherapy- here medicine is ingested into the body through swallowing or injection.
The medicine runs into the body system and kills the cancer cells but in the process, it also kills some normal body cells, and this normally leads to side effects such as loss of hair and vomiting which normally goes away at the end of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is usually applied if the skin cancer has gone beyond the skin and got into the body system.
Cryosurgery which is the freezing of the infected area. This has the effect of destroying cells on the frozen parts hence the cancer cells get destroyed
Skin chemotherapy- This can be done by using a generic medicine known as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) which is applied to the skin and it works by destroying the skin cells including the cancer cells. After the process is over, a new skin appears.
Skin chemotherapy- This can be done by using a generic medicine known as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) which is applied to the skin and it works by destroying the skin cells including the cancer cells.
After the process is over, a new skin appears.
Photodynamic therapy which is normally carried out in two phases. During the first phase, a special chemical is applied on the infected area and left for hours.
The second phase then follows where a special light is exposed on the infected area which then destroys the cancer cells.