International reality television star Khloe Kardashian was diagnosed with skin cancer last year. A 38-year-old woman who had a precancerous melanoma tumor removed from her face in October 2022 is back in the news thanks to the first official trailer for Season 3 of the reality series The Kardashians. In the trailer, she talks about getting the tumor removed and her scar is quite visible. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that more than 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells that mostly develops on skin that is exposed to the sun. It is important that people are aware of this condition so that it can be diagnosed early or prevented. As it happened, Khloe Kardashian developed a zit that turned out to be an early sign of skin cancer!
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer develops when skin cells grow and grow out of control. In this, the normal process of old skin cells dying and being replaced by new skin cells also fails resulting in skin cancer. skin cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer, But in comparison, it is less dangerous because it is easier to treat. However, delay in diagnosis and treatment increases the degree of risk. So what specifically causes cancer in our body’s protective layer? Let us understand it in detail.
spoke to healthshots Dr Sunny GargHOD & Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology, Sanar International Hospitals, Gurugram, to understand everything about skin cancer.
causes of skin cancer
Dr. Garg says, “Skin cancer is mainly caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially when the sun causes sunburn and itchy skin, Therefore, populations living in high altitude areas and spending more time in the sun are thought to be at a higher risk of catching it than others. Apart from this, artificial sources of UV rays are also highly responsible for skin cancer. This puts people working in factories or in jobs where they are in direct contact with UV rays or toxic chemicals at risk of contracting the disease.”
symptoms of skin cancer
The early symptoms of skin cancer can be obvious and hence it is comparatively easy to notice and seek timely medical intervention. You may experience:
- An unknown spot(s) on the skin.
- a wound or sore that is not healing naturally
- growing scar on any part of the skin
According to the type, location and degree of skin cancer, a person may also have different symptoms.
Read also: 5 Tips To Protect Your Skin From Sunburn In Summer
types of skin cancer
There are 3 major types of skin cancer:
1. Basal cell carcinoma: This type of skin cancer tends to present in highly exposed areas of the skin such as the face, hands, feet, upper legs, etc.
2. Melanoma : It can erupt from any mole on the body and the mole may start to stand out or spread. People with darker skin may experience it on the palms and feet, and may develop symptoms in darker or moist areas of the body such as the nose, vaginal area, anus, mouth, etc.
3. Squamous cell carcinoma: As mentioned, such cancers usually appear in sun-exposed areas, but this type of cancer can appear on any part of the skin; People with darker skin are at higher risk. It may look like dry sores or an itchy pattern.
How to prevent skin cancer?
As the leading cause of skin cancer it is enough to know which preventive measures should be taken:
- avoid excessive sun exposure
- Use sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher
- Seek medical advice if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Read also: Protect your skin from the sun: 5 reasons why SPF is a must this summer
skin cancer treatment
Skin cancer treatment can vary according to the severity and the area of the skin. There are a wide range of treatments that can potentially make you cancer-free, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biological therapy. But talking about diagnosis, a skin biopsy is necessary to confirm the existence of skin cancer, as it is the only way to know whether the prevailing symptoms are causing skin cancer or not.