Skin cancer: symptoms, treatment, signs of the initial stage
Skin cancer is a common disease of man. Among the other malignancies it accounts for about 10 %. Over the last decades there has been an increase in the number of cancer cases by nearly half, due to growth of cancer diseases in General.
The same disease often affects men and women, and in older age (60-70 years), the risk is much higher. In children, the frequency of detection of malignant tumors of the skin does not exceed one percent, and among the most common forms of melanoma arising from congenital nevi («moles»), containing a significant amount of melanin pigment.
Noted that persons with light skin get sick more often than blacks, and the blacks a cancer nearly 10 times less. In addition, the inhabitants of southern latitudes are more at risk of the disease. So, for example, in the Sunny Krasnodar region, the number of patients is several times greater than in the Northern regions. This is due to the more intense and prolonged effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin of the local population. In the case when the people of the North moving to the warmer and Sunny climate, the risk of cancer of the skin they becomes several times higher, so they need to be mindful of this possibility to take preventive measures.
Skin cancer is considered a tumor with a rather favorable prognosis. In most cases, if you are attentive patients to your body, the more disease is detected prior to metastasis. With timely detection and treatment of more than 95% of patients recover, but mortality in the lowest compared with all other malignant tumors. Cancer is not a death sentence, and neoplasms of the skin proof.
Why is there cancer?
Questions the causes of malignant tumors of concern to scientists today, but knowledge of the exact mechanisms of the pathogenesis of the disease allows us to develop effective prevention methods.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body that perform very diverse and important tasks. Leather is not only a kind of barrier between the external environment and the body, it also performs metabolic functions, involved in thermoregulation, excretion of certain substances, etc. a Large part of the skin is almost constantly one way or another in contact with the external environment and influenced by various physical and chemical influences, which have a carcinogenic potential.
Factors predisposing to the development of skin cancer, are:
- Prolonged exposure to solar or ionizing radiation;
- Influence of chemical carcinogens in the home and in hazardous work conditions;
- Genetic predisposition;
- Immunodeficiency, including those with HIV infection, patients receiving cytotoxic agents for malignant tumors of other sites etc.
In individuals a long time, staying under the sunlight and working in the open air, the skin experiences excessive ultraviolet radiation that can cause cancer in the future. Workers in agriculture, construction, fishermen, etc. have a higher risk of cancer of the skin.
The abuse of a Solarium increases the chance instead of a beautiful bronze tan to a malignant tumor, so it’s best not to get involved in this procedure, and if there is no confidence in the quality and timing of the use of equipment, correct to refuse to do. Health is more important, even in this case the skin would be untanned.
The enthusiasm of the broad masses, especially young girls, sunbathing by the sea or rivers, can also lead to undesirable consequences, among which there is a place and cancer. This is especially true of those under direct sunlight at noon and afternoon, when the radiation intensity is maximum. Do not forget that sometimes so dark, akin to charring, color, tanned skin not only conveys beauty, but also can cause considerable trouble.
Chemical carcinogens surround the modern man almost everywhere. The house is a variety of cleaning products and detergents, professional factors – contact with soot, arsenic compounds, tar, etc. In all cases personal protective equipment should not prinebregaete those who do not want to get cancer of the skin.
Smoking has extremely powerful carcinogenic effect, and among the malignant tumors, which it causes, is and skin cancer.
Genetic factors continue to be studied, however, it is already known that in families where the patients were informed, the risk among other relatives above.
Because neoplasia can be the result of a reduction in antitumor immunity, various immunodeficiencies may be related to the causes of cancer. At risk may be infected with HIV, and patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy other cancer.
In addition to external factors, plays an important role and the condition of the skin. In the presence of scars (post-radiation, due to thermal, chemical burns, trauma), venous ulcers (often on foot) deteriorates the processes of tissue regeneration, that can cause disruption in the differentiation of epithelial cells with the development of cancer.
In addition intiraymi factors, also identified a precancerous state of the skin. The so-called obligate precancer in nearly all cases ends with a malignancy (malignancy), while the optional gives you the chance for a favorable outcome.
To obligate precancer to include:
Erythroplasia Keira is diagnosed very rarely, more often affects men, appearing as red plaques, located on the head of the penis. Further characterized by the formation of squamous cell carcinoma.
Bowen’s disease is detected on the skin of the trunk, predominantly in older men, in the form of a pale pink color plaques, reaching 10 cm in diameter. In all cases, this condition goes into squamous cell skin cancer.
Unlike the previous two States, Paget’s disease – inheritance of the female half of humanity. In fact, the disease is already malignant tumor, localized in the epithelium of the nipple and mammary areola of the breast of the field, although it is possible lose also the external genitalia, in the axillary region. Cancer cells are found first in surface epithelium, and then penetrate into the ducts. The disease manifests itself like eczema changes – hyperemia, erosional, itching.
Xeroderma pigmentosum is a hereditary disease manifested increased susceptibility of the skin to ultraviolet radiation. A very short exposure to the sun in such patients contributes to the appearance of swelling, redness. Subsequently replaced by redness peeling and atrophic changes occur, the scars, and the skin takes on a mottled appearance. The disease manifests itself in childhood, and patients live about 15-20 years. During xeroderma pigmentosum in all cases ends with a malignancy with the advent of a particular malignant tumor of the skin.
To the optional precancer include States that are capable of malignant transformation in the presence of adverse conditions and precipitating factors. This so-called cutaneous horn, and senile keratosis, which manifests itself as tumors with excessive keratinization, keratoacanthoma (a benign tumor of hair follicles), various scars and trophic ulcers, dermatitis and cutaneous lesions in other diseases (tuberculosis, systemic lupus erythematosus).
Types and symptoms of malignant tumors of the skin
Classification of malignant skin tumors based on their histological structure, depending on which there are the following types of cancer:
- Basal cell (basal cell carcinoma);
- Squamous cell carcinoma.
In recent years the number of malignant tumors of the surface epithelium often exclude a melanoma growing from melaminovaya tissue, and therefore not associated with the surface epithelium and glands of the skin. About melanoma will be mentioned a little later.
In rare cases the growth of glandular tumors (adenocarcinomas), which are appendages of the skin – sweat and sebaceous glands.
Medical oncologists used classification of tumors according to the TNM system, based on which it is possible to allocate stages of the disease:
The initial stage of skin cancer often do not manifest any distinct or specific symptoms, so patients to the doctor is not in a hurry, and the appearance of the skin changes attributed to various inflammatory processes, infections, etc. meanwhile, the presence of even a spot or small bundle must be a reason to visit a dermatologist and exclusion of a malignant tumor.
Symptoms, combination of which can cause concern:
The first symptoms of skin cancer can be local color change of the skin, induration of tissue, presence of nodules, plaques, prone to ulceration, bleeding often. Such changes are rapidly progressing and are not amenable to treatment, especially at home. In the absence of timely and qualified medical aid, possible metastases in regional lymph nodes, the lower tissues including cartilage, muscles, ligaments.
Basal cell carcinoma
The most frequent type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, which accounts for about two-thirds of all detectable neoplasms of this localization. This tumor is usually diagnosed in older individuals, usually located on the face, not metastatic, but is able to grow tissues, causing their destruction. For basal cell carcinoma is quite favorable, but slow growth along with the absence of metastases can achieve good treatment outcomes.
Basal cell skin cancer built with cells that resemble the basal layer of the epidermis, which accounts for its name. Externally, the tumor resembles a node (this is the most common type of growth) dense consistency, with smooth surface, pink color. Metastasis is not typical, based on what for a long time there were debates about the degree of malignancy of the tumor, however, its histological structure and the nature of the cellular elements still speak in favor of cancer.
In addition to the hub, also produce a superficial kind of basal cell cancer, ulcer, pigment and others.
In most cases, the first signs of basal cell carcinoma are the presence of convex neoplasm pink color with a pearly shade or nodule with ulceration. Tumor size increases slowly, so the patients to the doctor are not in a hurry, however, damage to lower tissues, ulceration or bleeding are forced to seek help.
Basal cell carcinoma – the most common type of skin cancer of the face. This tumor can be found around the eyes and temples, sprouting nearby tissue, which can lead to death in a fairly short period of time.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is diagnosed in approximately a quarter of all patients. If basal cell carcinoma is more the lot of the elderly and displays age-related degenerative changes, decrease in immunity, violation of the regenerative capabilities of the skin, squamous cell carcinoma, as a rule, is a consequence of long-existing dermatoses, inflammatory processes, scars, etc. Due to the direct involvement of external factors in the formation of tumors, these tumors are often found on exposed parts of the body – hands, face.
Patients skin cancer looks different in respect of what was allocated to the main types: infiltrative-ulcerative and papillary. This division is based not only on the appearance of the tumor, but also takes into account the nature of the tissue damage in General.
Infiltrative-ulcerative form is manifested by the appearance of a deep ulcer, penetrating deep into the tissue, the bottom of which is covered with crusts and bloody discharge. Over time the size of the lesion and increase in width and in depth.
Papillary cancer of the skin similar in appearance to cauliflower, education has a firm texture and bumpy surface. In the early stages this option growth may be mistaken for a papilloma (a benign tumor), but the presence of previous skin lesions, pretty intense growth with a tendency to ulceration and bleeding indicate a malignant process.
Squamous cell carcinoma, unlike basal cell carcinoma, may involve the presence of metastases. Usually, the cancer cells reach regional lymph nodes and settle in them. The spread of tumor cells along blood vessels may lead to the emergence of secondary tumor nodes in the liver, lung, but this route of metastasis is very rare.
Video: doctor on detection of skin cancer
A few words about melanoma
Because the skin is constantly affected by ultraviolet radiation, the necessary protective barrier against the damaging effects of radiation. This function is performed by the pigment melanin. In individuals with dark skin, blacks much more in touch with conditions in countries with hot climate and intense sun exposure. Melanin is formed in melanocytes, which are found in the layer of the skin located under the epithelium (dermis), as well as in the iris and the retina and even the adrenal glands and the choroid of the brain, what is the possibility of tumor growth not only in the skin, but also abroad.
One of the risk factors of melanoma, in addition to excessive ultraviolet exposure, is the presence of large number of nevi, often referred to simply as mole. These formations represent focal accumulations melaninogenica cells in the skin, the retina of the eye. In case of injury to their excessive sun exposure to possible malignant transformation of cells and development of tumor.
Under unfavorable conditions the cells of melanocytic series may be the source of one of the most malignant and aggressive human tumors – melanoma. The tumor is a formation of dark or even black in color, rapidly increasing in size, quite early and rapidly metastatic. Pigmentless possible options for growth that are particularly difficult to diagnose.
Suspect melanoma allows changing the appearance of nevi, their color, size and the appearance of ulcerations and bleeding. Special attention should be paid to moles that are located in places of constant mechanical action (for example, where there is tight clothing), and when the damage is to consult your doctor.
On the road to diagnosis
How to diagnose skin cancer are very diverse. This is due to the superficial location of the tumors, which makes it easily accessible for a regular inspection.
If you suspect a malignant tumor of the skin, the doctor will make a thorough inspection, find out the nature of complaints and the remoteness of their appearance. It is necessary to pay attention not only to the lesion, but also to other areas of the skin and regional lymph nodes, which can be increased in the presence of metastases. If necessary for more detailed studies of education can be used magnifier.
To establish the type of tumor, its degree of malignancy and the nature of the changes of the surrounding tissue produce a cytological and histological study. For this the doctor or smear-imprint with the help of slides, or scraping with a wooden spatula, and to obtain biopsy material required fence fragment of the tumor by puncture. It is important to be part of the tumors without necrotic masses, surface crusts, Horny substance, because of poor tissue sampling can lead to diagnostic errors.
How to fight cancer?
Among the methods of treatment of skin cancer are traditionally used surgical removal, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The choice of a particular way of dealing with the disease is determined by the shape of the tumor, localization, stage, nature of the lesion and the surrounding tissue.
It is important to remember that any tumor and skin cancer, in particular, is much easier to treat in its early stages, so a timely visit to a dermatologist may be the key to successful and effective therapy in the future.
The main and probably most effective treatment is surgical removal of the tumor. For small and superficial tumors without metastasis, the preference for gentle methods, and possible use of low temperatures (cryoablation with liquid nitrogen), laser and electric current (electrocoagulation). However, it is unacceptable the use of these procedures with a significant amount of lesions and the presence of metastases of the tumor.
A special difficulty may be experiencing surgeons in the treatment of cancer of the skin because the removal of such tumors inevitably results in a cosmetic defect in the future. Possibly the most low-impact methods are used, however, they should not be at odds with the radicality of the operation.
In the case of such location of the tumor, which makes it poorly available to remove (whiskey area), resort to local radiation treatment, the effectiveness of which can be surgery.
Chemotherapy alone for cancer of the skin does not have and is used in combination with other methods.
In the presence of metastatic lesions of lymph nodes and advanced stages of the disease, you must remove all the affected tissue and lymph nodes with subsequent radiation and chemotherapy exposure.
Treatment of folk remedies in the case of skin cancer is unacceptable because it will not lead even to a slight improvement, but instead the timely help of the specialist the patient will lose time. In addition, when applied topically various herbal remedies, prepared at home, the accession of the inflammatory reaction, infection, necrosis, bleeding of the tumor.
Prevention of skin cancer is extremely important, but often ignored by people and even healthcare professionals. In order to prevent cancer, you need to follow simple rules:
- To avoid excessive UV exposure, including tanning;
- The ability to limit skin contact with household and industrial carcinogens;
- Conduct a healthy way of life in which there is no place for Smoking;
- Regularly visit a dermatologist or oncologist in the presence of patients among close relatives.
If it is hard to give a sun tan, you are a variety of sun creams, which include substances-filters against ultraviolet rays. Special attention should be given to the children of the sun because their skin is more sensitive to radiation. Pregnant women hormonal changes can also be more susceptible to the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation, so the sun must be very careful.
The prognosis of skin cancer in most patients is favorable and the survival rate is about 95%. The possible recurrence of the tumor, however, such cases are fairly amenable to effective treatment.