Do you know that skin cancer is a serious condition, affecting countless people globally? Having a good skin cancer awareness and identifying its symptoms in the early stages can help improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes.

It’s critical to create awareness in people to recognize the disease in its early stages through regular self-examination and professional skin checks. In this blog let’s explore the different types of skin cancer, symptoms, causes and risk factors, and the need for early detection to address it.

What is skin cancer and what influences the development of skin cancer in individuals? 

Skin cancer is the unusual and uncontrolled growth of skin cells and is caused due to many factors. Your risk of acquiring skin cancer is higher with:

  • Too much sun exposure, is one of the primary causes of skin cancer
  • Using tanning beds can be harmful in the long run
  • If you have fair skin, you have less natural protection from the sun’s rays
  • Having lots of moles on your skin, especially those that look different
  • If you have a weak immune system, your risk of developing skin cancer is higher
  • If any of your close family members have skin cancer
  • As you become older, the risk of skin cancer goes up

Besides, certain environmental factors like air pollution can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Occupational exposure to harmful chemicals like arsenic, coal, tar and pesticides on individuals working in the construction, agriculture and mining sectors has been associated with a higher risk of skin cancer.

Understanding these risk factors and having skin cancer awareness can help you take proactive steps by protecting yourself from the sun and other harmful chemicals to mitigate the risk of developing skin cancer.

The different kinds of skin cancer that you should be aware of:

  • Basal cell carcinoma – One of the most common forms of cancer characterized by a translucent or skin-coloured growth. It usually appears near the face or ears, that is, in areas most exposed to sun. This form of cancer takes time to grow and mostly does not spread to other areas of the body.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – Characterized by the appearance of red sores with a scaly crust. This form of cancer also develops in areas most exposed to the sun and spreads quickly to other body parts.
  • Melanoma – This is the most aggressive cancer type characterized by pigmented or unusual cell growth and forms on any part of the body including areas not exposed to the sun.

The need for detecting skin cancers in its early stage:

Having skin cancer awareness and early detection heavily influences treatment outcomes, as it allows cancer consultants at the top hospitals for cancer treatment to provide necessary and prompt treatment to successfully address skin cancer.

Detecting skin cancers early has many benefits and they include:

  • When skin cancer is identified in its initial stages, it can be completely removed, thereby lowering the risk of it spreading to other parts of the body.
  • It does not require more invasive and extensive treatments.
  • In certain cases, a simple excision or topical treatment is used to treat early-stage skin cancers and does not necessitate more complex surgeries or chemotherapy.
  • Early detection of skin cancer is vital to save lives. If your skin cancer condition is left untreated or diagnosed, it can become life-threatening in its advanced stages.

Potential consequences of detecting skin cancers at the later stages are:

  • Having good skin cancer awareness allows you to recognize skin cancer in its early stages. Your cancer condition can deteriorate making it hard for doctors to treat in the advanced stages.
  • It helps improve treatment outcomes, besides allowing you to take necessary preventive measures, like using protective clothing and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun.
  • Regular skin examinations help you identify the formation of new or changing moles. This allows you to take treatment on time and reduces the possibility of further development.
  • Getting treated for your skin cancer at its early stages is generally less expensive and less complex than addressing it in its advanced stage.
  • Detecting skin cancer in its early stage enables advanced cancer treatment centres in Coimbatore to efficiently allocate healthcare resources thereby lowering the impact on patients and the overall healthcare system.

Pay attention to your skin, get to know the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and be aware of any changes in your skin. Watch out for new or changing moles, irregular shapes, colour variations, or spots larger than a pencil eraser.

Consult with your doctor for a proper diagnosis if you notice any unusual skin changes. Remember, not all skin changes mean cancer. Some may be noncancerous, but it’s best not to ignore any unusual changes and consult your dermatologist for expert advice.

Dermatologists are well-equipped to distinguish between benign and malignant skin changes and may prescribe a biopsy depending on your skin cancer condition. Stay attentive to skin changes since early detection is vital and seek medical attention immediately to improve treatment outcomes.

Skin cancer screening and diagnosis:

Make it a habit to regularly perform a self-examination to identify specific skin changes. It’s best to examine yourself in a well-lit area and use mirrors to inspect all areas, including hard-to-see areas like your scalp and genitals.

If you notice any abnormalities, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. Professional skin checks can help determine if you are at higher risk of acquiring skin cancer. A dermatologist will thoroughly examine your skin and assess the unnatural moles or growths on your body that may require further investigation. If a suspicious lesion is found, further diagnostic tests such as dermatoscopy or a biopsy may be recommended.

Preventing Skin Cancer:

Take proactive steps with sun protection measures, like wearing sunscreen, seeking shade, and avoiding indoor tanning to protect yourself from the harmful effects of skin cancer. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits, eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated and have some form of physical activity to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Enhance your skin cancer awareness, be attentive to any changes in your body and protect yourself. These strategies can help you fight skin cancer, promote early detection and prioritize your well-being.