Definition This is a cancer that forms in the skin. There are different types. The most common is melanoma which forms in the lower level of skin.
Origin Stem cells in the body allow skin to endure wear and tear and constantly make new skin. Sometime there is a genetic mutation that produces cancerous cells in the skin rather than a new layer of skin.
Treatment Options There are many different treatment options for skin cancer patients, depending on the condition. Patients with lesser conditions can have the tumor, often in the form of a mole, removed. And then like other cancers you can have chemotherapy and radiation.
Role of Medicine Medicine plays a very important role in treating skin cancer. For patients with lesser conditions, you can apply many different topical treatments that can help. Sunscreen is used to prevent skin cancer by protecting the skin. Patients with major conditions have to take oral steroids.
Role of Family Family is a very important role in fighting and preventing skin cancer. Many people theorize that if you have family, you are more likely to do the preventions necessary to avoid skin cancer and if you do have skin cancer, then you are more likely to go to your regular appointments.
Management of Short Term Problems Topical treatments can help with short term problems that arise before or if you have skin cancer. A common one is sunscreen. Sunscreen prevents UV rays to be in direct contact with your skin, which can be the cause of skin cancer.
Management of Long Term Problems Chemotherapy and radiation can be can be long term solutions to all types of cancer, including skin cancer.
Impact on Individual/Family For the individual, the self esteem issues can go out the roof. Let’s just say that, skin cancer is not pretty. It’s also one that, for the most part, you bring upon yourself. For one, your mad at yourself for causing this to yourself, and two, your skin can be quite gross, therefore, extremely unattractive.
Impact on Family The main reason that skin cancer can have a major impact on a family is the cost. The cost for treatments are very expensive.
Statistics Only 25% of children wear sunscreen One person dies from Melanoma each hour 90% of pediatric melanoma occurs in girls ages 10-19
Basal Cell Basal cell carcinoma usually appears in sun-exposed areas of your body. Symptoms are waxy bumps, and flat, skin- colored or brown lesions.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Squamous cell carcinoma signs appear on sun-exposed areas Symptoms including firm red nodule, and flat lesions with scaly surfaces
Melanoma Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body. Melanoma can occur on skin that hasn't been exposed to the sun. Melanoma can affect people of any skin tone. Signs include large brown spots, moles that change is color size or bleed, small lesions with portions that are red, white, blue, or black
How long they should last before concern If you see any changes in your skin or any of these symptoms go to your doctor right away. Everyone should have a yearly mole check.
Genetic, hereditary or environmental factors Certain genetic mutations can grow cancer inside your skin, but the most common way to get skin cancer is over exposure to the sun. Tanning in tanning beds and not wearing sun screen while outside can lead to skin cancer.
New Things Learned One person dies of melanoma every hour A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he/she has had more than 5 sunburns at any age One in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime