Skin Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment

Update: December 2018

Skin cancer is a tumor lesion in exposed skin.
malignant nature associated with cell transformation and
the appearance of signs of atypism in them. Patient Survival Prediction
with such a diagnosis depends on the degree of spread
malignant process than earlier signs of cancer are found
skin, the higher the chances of a 100% cure.

So at zero stage, complete recovery is possible, while
in the treatment of stage 4 patient survival for 5 years
is only 10-15%. According to statistics from developed countries, for example,
melanoma mortality is about 2% of cases within 1
years of illness, in Russia and Ukraine this figure is much higher than 16-20%.
Survival of skin cancer patients for the next 5 years in the USA
it is 90%, while in our country it is almost 50% of patients.

Skin Cancer Types

There are 4 types of skin cancer:

  • squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma arises from keratinocytes – flat cells,
which are the main component of the epidermis. This type of cancer
occurs in open skin areas not exposed
sun rays.

  • basal cell carcinoma (basal cell carcinoma)

Basalioma – a type of cancer that develops from basal cells
epidermis, which are located under the keratinocytes. Unlike
squamous, basal cell carcinoma can appear on
areas of skin that are exposed to sunlight (face,

  • melanoma

Melanoma is a malignant skin lesion that develops from
melanocytes – cells producing melanin. Intense
exposure of the sun to the skin enhances melanin synthesis, which
делает эти клетки источником развития меланомы (см. melanoma:
symptoms, causes)

  • Adenocarcinoma is a rare type of skin cancer, it
    develops from sweat and sebaceous glands.

Существует международная Рак кожи признаки лечение TNM-классификация рака кожи, в
which T is the size of the tumor, N is the state of the lymph nodes, M is
the state of the process of metastasis. This classification is
clinical and is used for diagnosis in patients.
There is also a histopathological classification of skin cancer, in
the basis of which is the degree of differentiation (organization)
tumor cells. The most unfavorable in terms of the forecast is
undifferentiated skin cancer, and the most favorable – cancer with high
differentiated tumor cells (as close as possible to
own skin cells).

Signs of skin cancer

The main criteria by which dermatologists diagnose cancer
skins are:

Asymmetry. During the inspection of symmetric
skin areas revealed a significant difference in their shape, size,
structures. Borders. Inspection possible
roughness of the skin, “jagged” edge of birthmarks, etc.
Colour. There is a suspicious color change.
affected skin area (too dark or light, as well
red, blue and even black). Diameter.
Deformed areas are suspicious in terms of oncology
skin diameter greater than 6 mm.

The most typical first signs of skin cancer are:

  • Long healing wounds, bleeding sores on the skin
  • The appearance on the skin of a permanent spot of reddish color, which
    sometimes crusted or exfoliated, its growth is observed
    sizes, asymmetry.
  • The appearance of a shiny knot with a smooth, smooth surface
    (напоминает шрам) с  изменением цвета кожи.

The presence of any of the above symptoms is the reason
to contact a dermatologist. Different types of skin cancer may have
various symptoms, signs. This is because they grow
from different cells and may be different localization.

The main signs of basal cell carcinoma are:

  • the presence on the skin of a dense nodule, increasing in
  • the nodule is translucent, has thickened whitish edges
  • when the nodules are opened, blood is released from them
  • over time, the nodules become pale and visually resemble
  • basalioma rarely metastasizes, it germinates all layers of the skin,
    pushing the surrounding tissues on the way
  • basal cell carcinoma, located on the face (in the eyes, mouth), can
    cause functional impairment of the relevant parts of the face

Melanoma is rarely formed in unchanged skin.
This type of cancer кожи считается особенно агрессивным, так как
prone to active and rapid metastasis. Main
signs of melanoma are:

  • melanoma развивается из невуса — темного участка кожи (родинка,
    site hyperpigmentation, freckle), actively producing
  • nevus increases, changes color (blue, white, red)
  • nevus becomes more dense
  • signs of inflammation (hyperemia, itchy skin, swelling
  • ulceration of the surface of the nevus with subsequent bleeding

Squamous cell carcinoma develops in areas of the body that
доступны для воздействия sun rays. Main признаками
squamous skin cancer are:

  • a small dense and nodular nodule appears on the skin
    (plaque) red or brown, sometimes on its surface
    there are scales or crusts
  • sometimes the tumor resembles the appearance of “color” cabbage
  • the transformation of a nodule into a wart with an ulcerated surface, on
    which may appear exudate with an unpleasant smell
  • the tumor grows rapidly and spread to nearby organs and
    tissue (has a rapid development)

Adenocarcinoma is very rare. Main признаками
adenocarcinomas are:

  • occurs in places of accumulation of sweat and sebaceous glands (groin,
    armpits, folds under the bust)
  • in the initial stages, the tumor appears as a small node or
  • grows very slowly, but can reach large sizes
    and grow into muscles and tendons.

Causes of skin cancer

The main cause of the degeneration of skin cells into malignant
Excessive, regular ultraviolet radiation is considered,
especially in the elderly and fair-skinned persons. Since in 90%
cases of skin cancer occur in exposed areas of the body, most often in
neck and face, which are exposed to the most.

In addition to UV, the risk of developing skin cancer is increased under the influence of
Some chemicals with a carcinogenic effect: tobacco
smoke, arsenic, tar, lubricants, heavy metals. After
radiation dermatitis, burns, skin exposure to radioactive and
thermal factors, injuries of moles, scarring also increases
the risk of the transformation of healthy cells into malignant.

Afterдние исследования ученых доказывают, что нанесение
tattoos can trigger skin cancer because
used paint contains arsenic and other toxic elements
(blue contains cobalt and aluminum, red mercury sulfide,
cadmium, nickel, titanium), which are the cause of malignancy
skin cells – melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, carcinoma. No less
dangerous non-compliance with antiseptic rules in some
tattoo parlors that put the client at risk of infection with hepatitis
C, B, HIV virus (see symptoms of HIV infection). Not safe
tattooing near moles.

To the occurrence of skin cancer are predisposing
hereditary characteristics of the organism, so often observed
family cases of the disease. Skin diseases such as senile
keratoma, Bowen’s disease, cutaneous horn, pigmented nevi,
Keira erythroplasia, skin tuberculosis, trophic ulcers, syphilis and
Ave today are considered precancerous conditions.


With suspected malignant patient
It is necessary to consult a dermatologist who can refer him to
oncologist The doctor conducts a thorough examination and examines the lymph nodes.
Sometimes an additional ultrasound is prescribed.

Histological examination can confirm the diagnosis of skin cancer
(performed after a biopsy of the tumor or after its removal) or
cytological (microscopic examination of smears-prints with
eroded surfaces).

Sometimes patients suspected of tumor metastasis.
Lymph node biopsy is recommended. In the presence of fast-growing and
metastatic tumor diagnosis of the disease may be
advanced, using: CT, MRI, urography, radiography,
scintigraphy, etc.

Skin cancer treatment

Skin cancer treatment полностью зависит от разновидности опухоли,
stage of the disease and the general condition of the patient. Main методами
skin cancer treatments are:

  • Surgical treatment, accompanied by removal of the tumor and
    affected lymph nodes – the most common method.
    As a rule, after surgery, patients are prescribed radiation therapy.
    (radiotherapy) or chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy – allows you to destroy tumor cells by
    effects of close focus X-ray on them. Radiation therapy
    interferes with tumor metastasis.
  • Drug treatment of skin cancer – treatment with chemotherapy,
    destroy cancer cells.

Small tumors are excised by curettage,
electrocoagulation, cryodestruction, or laser removal. In each
If the treatment option is chosen individually.

The prognosis for skin cancer is ambiguous, it depends on the degree
differentiation of the tumor and the type of cancer. However, skin cancer with
timely treatment has a relatively benign course
compared with cancer tumors of other localization. Negative
прогнозы касаются только squamous cell carcinoma, который очень быстро
grows and often metastasizes.

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