Skin cancer can be of three major types i.e, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. These affect the 3 types of cells found in the skin epidermis: the top layer are the squamous cells, the basement layer has the basal cells and the melanocytes.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, and does not metastasize often. On the other hand, squamous cell carcinoma is less frequent but is more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma are the rarer still, and are the most aggressive.
The different types of skin carcinomas have symptoms that are specific to them, listed below are some general signs of the disease:
These usually occur on the head, neck, facial area but can also develop on your arms or genital areas. If you suspect you have similar symptoms, please follow up with a dermatologist or an oncologist. The description is merely meant to describe the most common examples, it is wholly possible to have spots/lumps which do not exactly match the descriptions stated above.
The different types of surgery to remove skin cancer are:
Uses anti-cancer drugs to kill or shrink the cancer causing cells and to prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of the body. Topical chemotherapy drugs are used to treat skin cancer, i,e., drugs that can directly be applied onto the surface of the skin. The more common delivery forms of chemotherapy are used for more aggressive squamous cell carcinomas that have spread to other parts of the body. It is rarely used for basal cell carcinomas.
Immunotherapy works by helping/boosting your immune system to fight against cancer cells. Most immunotherapy drugs work as checkpoint inhibitors. Our immune system has certain ‘checkpoints’ which allow the major immune cells to switch on or off and begin an immune response. Cancerous cells take advantage of these checkpoints by portraying themselves as non-threatening and hence do not get destroyed by our immune system. Checkpoint inhibitor drugs block these deceptive proteins on cancer cells, or the receptors on the T-cells (a type of immune cell) that respond to them and hence an immune response can be launched against them.
Targeted therapy drugs, are as the name suggested more specific, i.e, they aim to kill cancer cells. As of now, targeted therapy drugs are used in tandem with chemotherapy drugs but can also be used when chemotherapy drugs do not show any results. Currently there are some targeted therapy drugs that focus on inhibiting the hedgehog signalling pathway that plays a role in cell differentiation.
Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy works by aiming high energy waves at the cancerous cells. In skin cancer treatment, radiation therapy is mostly used only if surgery is not an option or is used complementary to the surgery.
Please bear in mind, that your medical history, your environment which includes family and friends, your lifestyle habits, genetics, the type and intensity of cancer you have, all play a role in deciding the course of your treatment. Many times a combination of treatments is recommended, and this may change through the duration of your illness. This is done so the doctor can ensure that you are getting the best possible treatment for your individual case.
We understand that before going through a major treatment like surgery or radiotherapy, you may be feeling unsure and want a second opinion, or you would like to look for the top oncologist specializing in skin cancer, or for a clinical trial doing cutting edge research. For support with any of these queries and question, Qunomedical is here for you 24/7.