Skin cancer: symptoms and signs with pictures, types, stages and treatment

Written by med

At the outset let us be clothed in the robe of the cynic, but rather in a white doctor’s coat (great cynics it’s hard to imagine, if not offended, at me the representatives of this respected profession) and some fantasize. Imagine that on the grave of untimely deceased person would have written his diagnosis or cause of death: then, at least every 9-10 monument would write the terrible word “cancer”. Today in our article we will talk about skin cancer. Immediately say, that this is not the most common type of cancer, its share drops something like 5% of all cases of cancer. But this form of cancer, unlike breast cancer or prostate cancer doesn’t know gender differences and affects equally both men and women, usually after age 50.

The content of the article

  • Causes of skin cancer
  • External causes
  • Internal causes
  • Precancerous
  • Obligate precancerous skin disease
  • Optional precancerous skin disease
  • The symptoms and signs of skin cancer in the early stages
  • Types of skin cancer
  • Diagnosis of skin cancer
  • Stages of skin cancer
  • Treatment of skin cancer
  • Video on the topic: “skin Cancer”

Causes of skin cancer

Causes of skin cancer can be divided into external and internal.

External causes

The external causes that trigger the occurrence of skin cancer include:

  • UV radiation, including sunlight. Cancer may provoke even a single, but intensive influence of the heavenly bodies, particularly in respect of such forms of cancer like melanoma. Most often it sick people under the scorching sun regularly, and from case to case (for example, when a hardened office worker is chosen for a beach holiday). In recent years, the impact of this factor gradually becomes decisive, because the increasing scale of destruction of the ozone layer, retarding UV rays. Another disadvantaged with regard to cancer of the skin place — tanning salons;
  • mechanical trauma to the skin at the location of the birthmarks (pigmented nevi);
  • the irradiation of fluorescent lighting (this factor is yet more from the area of assumptions).

Internal causes

To internal causes (predisposing factors) of skin cancer include:

  • race. More predisposed to skin cancer “true Aryans”. Blacks in this sense, you can sleep peacefully. At risk — blondes and people with light skin, eyes, hair;
  • the poor state of their immune system. Immunodeficiency predisposes to skin cancer (and not only to it). In this regard, the danger is pregnancy in which the conditions for the degeneration of pigmented nevi;
  • gender and age. For example, melanoma is most common in women and mostly in women “Balzac” age;
  • burdened heredity.


Precancerous skin diseases are obligatie, i.e., they eventually will be converted to cancer, or optional, transformirovalsya in cancer not always, in this case the malignancy is dependent on the disease and a number of other factors.

Obligate precancerous skin disease

Paget’s disease – can be diagnosed in most cases in women older than 60 years, but men are also affected by the disease. By the way, they are characterized by a more aggressive manifestation. The disease is expressed in the development of the group of atypical cells in the peripapillary area, rarely in the other parts of the body that have apocrine sweat glands: the skin of the penis in men, vulva in women or the crotch region. According to statistics, more than 95% of people with Paget’s disease have breast cancer. Paget’s disease requires radical treatment approaches.

Bowen’s Disease. This disease is vnutriepetelialnaya skin cancer, occurs most often on the genital organs in uncircumcised men 40 to 70 years. Sometimes it is also found on mucous surfaces in the mouth. The disease manifests itself in the form of plaques copper-red color with scaly fuzzy edges, prone to sprawl on the periphery.

Xeroderma pigmentosum is an extremely rare genetic disease caused by autosomal genome, which is manifested in extreme sensitivity to sunlight. Because of increased photosensitivity on exposed areas of the skin patches are formed, which further delayed the pigment, followed by sloughing and atrophy of the affected parts of the skin, which are transformed into malignant neoplasms.

Optional precancerous skin disease

Chronic dermatitiscaused by contact with strong carcinogenic substances, but also the result of x-ray irradiation.

Cutaneous horn is a dense convex tumor a dark brown color. Mostly formed in Mature and older age in the open areas of the skin.

Atheroma, warts and papillomas are subjected to frequent mechanical stress.

Scars after syphilis, burns, lupus. Trophic ulcers.

Keratoacanthoma — a benign tumor that is most common in individuals older than 50 years on exposed skin: the face and head.

Senile dyskeratosis. Manifested in the form of keratinized layers of the skin gray or brown

The symptoms and signs of skin cancer in the early stages

There are a few first signs of skin cancer – primary degeneration of the birthmark (nevus) to malignant side:

  • the increase in horizontal and vertical dimensions is to be issued over the surrounding tissues;
  • previously the correct mole becomes asymmetrical and takes on fantastic shapes, sometimes with ragged edges;
  • discoloration, local depigmentation;
  • itching and burning around the mole;
  • irritation of the skin over the nevus until a little sores;
  • wet weeping surface of the mole, sometimes bleeding;
  • if newuse had hair — it is hair loss;
  • flaking the surface of a mole with the formation of dry cortical layer;
  • small point seal on the mole;
  • the appearance of moles in the neighborhood;
  • change the state of aggregation of nevus — its softening or, alternatively, seal;
  • suspiciously shiny surface of a mole;
  • the disappearance of the skin pattern from the surface of the mole.

Signs of skin cancer (melanoma) skin cancer fotovidy

Distinguish 4 types of skin cancer:

Basal cell skin cancer (photo) basal cell Carcinoma or basal cell skin cancer.
It got its name from their “plants” — the basal layer of the epidermis. This tumor lacks the ability to metastasize and relapse. Its migration is directed mainly deep tissue with their imminent destruction.

About 8 out of 10 of all skin cancers are this type.

It is the least dangerous of all types of skin cancer. With the exception of those cases when basal cell carcinoma located on the face or ears: in such circumstances it can reach impressive volumes, affecting the nose, eyes, and damaging the brain. Most often found in older people.

Squamous cell skin cancer (photo) Squamous cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
This type of skin cancer occurs in deeper skin layers — among keratinocytes. He is prone to aggressive growth and metastasis in the lymph nodes and internal organs. Not always develops on exposed parts of the body sometimes can occur, for example, in the mouth.

Cancer of the skin.
Malignant neoplasm localized in the sebaceous and sweat glands or hair follicles. A very rare form of skin cancer. The clinical picture is identical to squamous cell cancer. An accurate diagnosis is established after histological examination.

Melanoma (photo) Melanoma.
Is a highly aggressive skin tumor which develops from pigment cells called melanocytes. Melanoma is prone to extremely rapid metastasis that cannot be influenced. Looks like pigment stain blue-black or pinkish color. Start to develop it may be an ordinary mole.
In some rather rare cases, this type of cancer can develop in conjuctive or other structures of the eye, mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, possibly of the rectum and vagina.

According to statistics 1% of the total number cancer cases occurs in melanoma.

Diagnosis of skin cancer, the oncologist First carefully examining the mole under a magnifying glass. Then when you suspect the patient is subjected to radioisotope study. In cancer the accumulation of radioactive phosphorus, the damaged area of skin is 300-400% compared to normal skin. The “gold standard” research on skin cancer is a cytological study prints with ulcers or small amounts of tissue from the tumor. Another common method is the biopsy when excision of a piece of the tumor for clarity, the capture portion of healthy tissue.

Identifitseerida metastases by ultrasonography and computed tomography.

Stages of skin cancer

According to the generally accepted classification, there are 4 stages of skin cancer. At the initial stage of skin cancer the tumor is less than 2 cm, 2-Oh — 5. For the 3rd stage in addition to tumor size greater than 5 cm are characteristic metastases in nearby lymph nodes. The 4th stage is almost finish: metastases affect muscles, bones, cartilage.

Treatment of skin cancer

Treatment of skin cancer, one way or another connected with surgery. Objectively surgical removal of the tumor is the most effective treatment option, allowing not only to survive but to avoid the return of the tumor. Surgery to remove tumors is its excision and removal of adjacent lymph nodes (if indeed they are subject to defeat). After a successful operation prescribed radiation or drug therapy, and then all at once.

Radiation therapy — irradiation of the skin area where the tumor. It allows to destroy cancer cells that remain after surgery. The average patient irradiated for 3-4 weeks.

Drug treatment of skin cancer (chemioterapia) involves the use of various drugs, whose action is directed on destruction of tumor cells and to improve the overall immunity of the body. By the way, to chemotherapy for skin cancer rarely resorted to.

The probability of a favorable outcome for skin cancer are relatively high (this does not apply to melanoma). The only thing — at the advanced stage, even surgery does not always help. Unfortunately, skin cancer relapses are not uncommon, especially after errors in radiation therapy or with incomplete removal of the tumor.

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