Cancer Melanoma

Cancer Melanoma

Cancer melanoma

     Cancer melanoma is an abnormal growth of skin cells and it occurs most frequently on sun-exposed skin areas.

     There are three major types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The first two types are developing slowly and in most cases are treatable, especially if they have been discovered in time. Cancer melanoma is the worst. It affects the deeper layers of the skin and it has great potential to spread to other tissues of the body.

     All three types are becoming more common today, but most cases could be prevented by avoiding or limiting the exposure to ultraviolet light and by paying a more attention to skin changes that will arouse suspicion. If they are found early, the most forms of cancer melanoma can be treated successfully.

Signs and symptoms of cancer melanoma:

     Cancer melanoma occurs primarily on sun-exposed areas of skin - face, lips, ears, scalp, neck, chest, arms and legs. But it can develop in regions that rarely see the sun - areas between fingers, genital regions. Cancer melanoma affects people of all shades of skin, including those with dark skin.

     A specific lesion can appear suddenly or may develop slowly, depending on the type of cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma:

     It is the most common, easiest to treat and which spreads harder. Usually appears as one of the following forms:

  • A pearl swelling on face, neck or ear;
  • A flat lesion, usually brown, like a scar on the chest or back;

Squamous cell carcinoma:

     It is easily treated if discovered early, but it can spread more easily than the previous form. Most often it is seen like:

  • A hard lump, red, on the face, lips, ears, neck, arms or hands;
  • A small flat area, as a crust, on face, ears, neck or arms.

Cancer melanoma, causes:

     Skin cancer appears initially on the extern layer of skin - the epidermis. It has a protective role and is composed of three cell types:

  • squamous cells, located just below the outer layer;
  • basal cells, producing new cells, located under the squamous ones;
  • Melanocytes - produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color

     Normally, skin cells grow in a controlled way. The new cells push on the elderly to the surface of the epidermis where they eventually die and will exfoliate. This process is controlled genetically by DNA. When DNA is damaged, this process no longer occurs normally and new cells multiply uncontrollably, resulting in skin cancer.

     The ultraviolet radiation causes the most of the DNA disorders. They come from both the sun and from different tanning devices. Both B and A ultraviolet radiation may produce gene changes that will trigger skin cancer.

     Between others incriminated factors is included heredity, various dermal exposure to toxic substances or other types of radiation.

Risk factors for cancer melanoma:

  • the light skin. With less melanin, the skin cells are less protected against UV radiation action. If you have blond or red hair, light colored eyes and you tan very fast, you have a higher risk of developing cancer melanoma than those brunettes.
  • History of sunburn. Every time you expose yourself to excessive sun and you end up with burning of the skin, the skin cells are damaged and increases cancer risk.
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight and tanning. Exposure to the strong sun of the afternoon for long periods without application of sunscreens can cause skin cancer. Tanning is also a risk factor. Tanning is a skin lesion of excessive action in response to UV radiation.
  • Sunny climate or altitude. People who live in warm regions, with sunshine are more exposed to radiation. Similarly, those who live at altitude have stronger radiation.
  • Moles. People who have many moles on the body have a higher risk of developing this disease. Abnormal moles - those who have an irregular surface and are larger than common - have a greater risk to become malignant.
  • Family history of skin cancer. If a close relative has had skin cancer, the risk that you will do this disease is higher. There are families with a hereditary condition manifested by the appearance of the body of a large number of moles (over 50) some of which are atypical. These people have an extremely high risk of skin cancer.
  • Personal history of cancer. If you once had skin cancer, the risk of reappearing of this disease is increased.
  • A weakened immune system. People with AIDS, leukemia or people on immunosuppressive drugs are at high risk of skin cancer.
  • Fragile skin. Burned skin, injured, affected by other diseases is more sensitive to sunlight and it is more susceptible to skin cancer.
  • Age. The risk of skin cancer increases with the age, but young people may also be affected.