What is Skin Cancer?
Skin Cancer arise from the development of abnormal cells that can be spread to other parts of the body as well. It is the most common form of Cancer. There are many types of Skin cancers, but of which three main types are :
- Basal-cell Skin Cancer (BCC)
- Squamous-cell Skin Cancer (SCC)
More than 90% of Skin Cancer cases are developed due to the exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. The exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of all three types of cancer. Exposure has increased partly due to a thinner Ozone layer. People with light skin are more at risk of developing Skin Cancer as are those with weak immune function or HIV/AIDS.
In order to prevent from Skin cancer like Melanoma and Squamous-cell Skin Cancer use of Sunscreen is must and avoid the mid-day sun exposure and use of tobacco products. Presence of Zinc oxide and titanium oxide in Sunscreen helps in protecting from UVA and UVB ranges.
Treatment of cancer is dependent on the type of cancer, location of cancer, whether the cancer is primary or a recurrence and the age of the person.
For low-risk disease, radiation therapy, topical chemotherapy and cryo therapy can provide adequate control of the disease; all of them, however, may have lower overall cure rates than certain type of surgery. Other modalities of treatment such as photo dynamic therapy, topical chemotherapy, electro desiccation and curettage can be found in the discussions of basal-cell carcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma.
Mohs’ micrographic surgery (Mohs surgery) is a technique used to remove the cancer with the least amount of surrounding tissue and the edges are checked immediately to see if tumor is found. This provides the opportunity to remove the least amount of tissue and provide the best cosmetically favorable results. This is especially important for areas where excess skin is limited, such as the face. Cure rates are equivalent to wide excision. Special training is required to perform this technique. An alternative method is CCPDMA and can be performed by a pathologist not familiar with Mohs surgery.
Australia and New Zealand exhibit one of the highest rates of skin cancer incidence in the world, almost four times the rates registered in the United States, the UK and Canada. Around 434,000 people receive treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers and 10,300 are treated for melanoma. Melanoma is the most common type of cancer in people between 15–44 years in both countries. The incidence of skin cancer has been increasing. The incidence of melanoma among Auckland residents of European descent in 1995 was 77.7 cases per 100,000 people per year, and was predicted to increase in the 21st century because of “the effect of local stratospheric ozone depletion and the time lag from sun exposure to melanoma development.