Skin cancer is one of the most curable kinds of cancer, especially when detected in its early stages. Even so, it is important to protect ourselves from the main causes of skin cancer and prevent its existence altogether. Many organizations have been active to promote Skin Cancer Treatment and prevention guidelines to educate people on how to protect themselves from this disease.
The main cause of skin cancer is the sun. In some research studies, about 9 out of 10 of non-melanoma skin cancers, and about 6 out of 10 melanoma type of skin cancer were caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. Skin cancer prevention should be a part of an individual’s daily routine. Some skin cancer prevention guidelines are:
- Stay indoors when the sun is strong and in its peak. It is advised to stay indoors between the hours of 11am and 3pm, especially during the summer months, May until September. This middle time of the day is when the sun is its strongest.
- Cover up as much as you can. Use umbrellas, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses especially when staying out for long. Use loose, light-colored clothes, which help deflect the sunrays and invite air in.
- Use sunscreen liberally. High factor sunscreen is an essential tool to fight the damaging effects of the sun. Use a high factor sunscreen, at least an SPF of 15 or more, with a high UVA protection. The SPF label in sunscreen protects against the sun’s UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply frequently, at least every two hours, to maintain its efficacy. Children have thinner skin so it is best to reapply most often especially when swimming.
Skin cancer diagnosis is emphasized as an important tool to achieve a successful Skin Cancer Treatment. The signs of skin cancer mentioned in this article are helpful in determining the potential of skin cancer development. It is best to be knowledgeable about them, to detect them early and initiate treatment as soon as possible.
Skin Cancer Treatment is based on what type of skin cancer one has, its size, location and stage. For small basal cell carcinomas, treatment is simple and can be done by dermatologists. Squamous cell carcinoma may require more treatment since it has the potential to spread to other parts of the body, although this type of cancer is rarely fatal.
Malignant melanoma, however, because of its dangerous and risky prognosis, require a more extensive treatment options. Melanoma treatment includes:
- Surgery – It is the primary treatment for most skin cancers and the usual melanoma treatment. In this method, the tumor is removed, including the normal tissues around it. Skin graft is often done when a wide area of skin is removed. Malignant melanoma can spread to nearby lymph nodes that a procedure called Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy is necessary. Surgery, however, is not an effective skin cancer treatment option if the cancer cells have metastasized to other parts of the body. In such cases, other treatment methods must be considered.
- Radiotherapy – Radiation therapy is an effective alternative treatment, especially for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Radiotherapy is also given after surgery, when cancer cells are not totally removed or when the tumor has grown deeper into the skin layers.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is usually not used to treat skin cancers but can also be an effective treatment method. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs eliminate cancer cells or stop their rapid division.
- Photodynamic therapy – is a relatively new method that is geared towards Skin Cancer Treatment. This method uses laser light to kill cancer cells. A drug is injected into the vein and is activated by light. An advantage of photodynamic therapy is it causes little damage to healthy tissue.