Can You Detect Possible Skin Cancer on Your Own?
The skin is the largest organ of our body. It has various functions such as providing protection from injury because it acts as a protective barrier against potential microorganisms that can be fatal to the body. Similarly, the skin functions as a storehouse of water and works with the adipose tissue (subcutaneous fat) and finally, it regulates the body temperature.
There are few factors that can influence the onset of skin cancer, such as ultraviolet (UV) rays released by intense sun radiation. They can actually cause mutations in our DNA of skin cells. Therefore, they can modify the genetic makeup and convert it into a malignant cell. Skin cancer is, around the world, most prevalent in light-skinned people.
Tree types of skin cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This cancer usually occurs in places like the face, usually on the nose or forehead. Some people may have increased risk due to genetic predisposition; which increases the chances of suffering from skin cancer. Exposure to some chemicals such as arsenic and UV lights also influence the start of skin cancer cells.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This usually occurs in areas of the body where sunlight reaches directly, since the ultraviolet rays easily interact with the skin tissue; however, there is no guarantee that this type of cancer will only appear in these areas. In its early stage, squamous cell carcinoma appears as alight red or reddish area; it may also resemble a wart. Usually, this cancer type only affects the area where it actually appears, since it tends to inhabit deeper in the tissues that surround it. However, there is also a chance that it will spread, penetrating into high-risk areas, and lead to death.
It’s a type of cancer that develops from melanocytes. Those are pigment-containing cells which usually appear as a tumor in dark color. The color is like that because of the increased melanin, the pigment that cells actually secret it and turns the skin dark. It leads to the appearance of brown or black spots on the skin. Melanoma is the “number 1” cause of deaths from skin cancer, and light skinned people usually have it. Each year worldwide around 165,000 melanoma cases are detected, of which 48,000 are fatal. These cells are generally very “strong” and invasive because they actually have excellent capacity to metastasize and spread throughout the body. Other organs that this disease can affect are the eyes and the intestine. Melanoma is responsible for the death of 75% of people who are diagnosed with skin cancer.
The exposure to sunlight is generally one of the most dominant factors in the beginning of this disease. However, there are machines in use every day, such as tanning machines, which are another factor to consider when it comes to prevention. There are skin care practices, that if we implement them consistently, we can prevent skin cancer.
How to prevent possible skin cancer?
There are certainly risk factors for people who are often in direct contact with sunlight and they should take extra precautions. If you are in the sun for many hours, the recommendations are to wear or to use:
Light skinned people with light or blue eyes should pay more attention. People who are approximately 50 years of age as well because they are often more vulnerable to the disease.
In short, some of the factors that trigger the onset of possible skin cancer are:
- Excessive exposure to artificial or natural light is bad! We must avoid the damaging UV rays which can be filtered with sunscreen.
- Light-colored or blue eyes.
- Weakened immune system.
- Genetic changes associated with this type of cancer.
- Exposure to arsenic.
- Exposure to high doses of radiation.
Don’t forget: always use sunscreen and be careful out there!
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