Typology and Treatment of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the consequence of the uncontrolled proliferation of some cells that form the skin. This will form a tumor, which in the case of being malignant, will invade adjacent tissues and may even form metastases. To avoid this disease we should not run away from the sun, but we should avoid excessive exposure, as sunburn is the main risk factor for melanoma. In situations of intense or prolonged exposure, common sense is essential, and this will tell us to carry an umbrella, wear appropriate clothing or use sunscreen.

Differences between melanoma and non melanoma

There are different types of skin cancer. Melanoma is not the most common but it is the most dangerous. It is the malignant version of a mole. Metastases are frequent when melanoma is not diagnosed early, and have a very high mortality rate.

Non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas or epitheliomas, do not usually metastasize, although they can locally invade adjacent tissues, which also creates problems if the diagnosis is delayed.

Treatment

In most cases, the treatment of this type of tumor is surgical. Usually the tumor is completely removed. In selected cases Mohs surgery may be used, as it gives a better guarantee that no microscopic remains of the tumor are left in the skin. In very early cases of non-melanoma skin cancer, other non-surgical options may be considered, such as the application of imiquimod cream, photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy or laser.

Regarding the detection of melanoma, there is the ABCDE rule for detecting suspicious moles: Asymmetric, with irregular borders, heterogeneous or very dark coloration, Diameter greater than 6 mm, and Unwarranted evolution or changes of the mole. This detection can give clues to a dermatologist with the naked eye, although dermoscopy helps us to see structures that the eye cannot see and increases our diagnostic accuracy.