Skin cancer can manifest anywhere on your body. It is most likely to occur on skin that has had exposure to sunlight. The most common areas are the face, neck, hands, and arms. Skin cancer is divided up into three main different types; Basal Cell Carcinomas, Squamous Cell Carcinomas, and Melanomas.
Types of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type out of the three skin cancers. They originate from the deepest part of your epidermis (i.e. basal layer) and usually occur from overexposure to sun. They can be easily treated and are usually not life threatening.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is another kind of skin cancer. These show up on your top layer of skin and are commonly mistaken for sores. They might appear as sores on your skin, but ones that do not go away. They can be caused by overexposure to the sun and while usually not life threatening do kill about 3,000 a year.
Melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer. It usually starts in the melonomyte layer of skin but they can in rare advanced stages even affect your organs. If caught early it can be treated and cured. You should do self examinations of your own body for any irregularities that might be precursors to melanoma. Follow the ABCDE rule (Asymmetry, Border Irregularity, Color, Diameter, and Evolving characteristics) usually found with moles to detect if anything seems out of place. See the illustrations below to learn how to check for skin cancer.
Skin Cancer may be discovered early on while still a benign pre-cancer. One pre-cancer is known as Actinic keratosis. This shows up as scaly, crusty, small bumps that can be found on or underneath the skin. Tumors, lesions, and odd discolored skin can be indicators of pre-cancer and you should be on the lookout for these warning signs.
The reason pre-cancer is important to find and treat is that in these areas though harmless now may turn into skin cancer, even malignant skin cancer. These areas are able to be seen and felt and are noticeable.
How We Can Help You
We believe in empowering our patients with the tools they need to overcome cancer. We will develop a personal and individualized cancer treatment program that will be the most effective for your specific case.
Our expert dermatologists have the experience, expertise and knowledge to effectively detect early malignant and non-malignant skin cancers. We offer yearly free skin cancer screenings at our clinic. There are several treatments that can be used for skin cancer. They are: Superficial Radiotherapy, Freezing, X-ray, Scraping, Excising, Laser, and Mohs, where Mohs is the most effective method.
Freezing – Also called cryosurgery. This procedure utilizes liquid nitrogen, a very cold gas, at a temperature of -50°C or (-58°F) to freeze off the skin cancer lesion. If you have a bleeding disorder, or if you do not want a different procedure, freezing is the treatment for you. It may reoccur after this technique.
X-ray – Also called Radiotherapy or radiation therapy, this type of treatment directs a dose of radiation at the target area. The radiation energy emitted, damages and destroys the cancer cells. The radiation does not distinguish between healthy or harmful cells, but destroys them all. This is sometimes uses to remove internal cancers. Most patients don’t like this therapy as it can take 20 to 30 treatments.
Scraping – Also called curettage. This process involves using a spoon shaped tool to scrape away the skin removing the cancer cells. The scraped skin may bleed and is many times used with electrosurgery in order to control any bleeding that might occur. This procedure is only for separated cancer.
Excision – This is a small minor surgery. During this procedure, the area of skin cancer is cut out, along with a margin of healthy skin surrounding it. This margin area is then examined to see if all of the skin cancer has been removed. After an excision, stitches may be needed to close it up.
Laser – Laser therapy uses lasers on the target area and focuses a beam of light to remove the skin cancer. Laser therapy is mainly used to treat cancer on the surface of the skin, and for some internal organs. This procedure can not tell if the cancer is completely out.
Mohs – This is called micrographic surgery. It is the most effective method to remove skin cancer. Mohs surgery is a process where each layer of the cancer is removed and examined then to see if it was all removed. It is commonly used for sensitive areas such as the face.
To learn more about Skin cancer, contact our offices today.
ADVANCED SKIN CLINIC
2nd Floor, Embassy Plaza, Plot 1188-1190 Ggaba Road, Nsambya Central, Kampala. P.O Box 612, Kampala.
Tel: 0755-562430 (Office Line) or 0755-493893