SKIN CANCER INFO

Can You Spot the Difference?

Melanoma

  • Most deadly form of skin cancer.
  • If left untreated can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Appears as a new spot or an existing spot that changes in colour, size or shape.
  • Can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun.

Nodular Melanoma

  • Grows quickly.
  • Looks different from common melanomas. Raised and even in colour.
  • Many are red or pink and some are brown or black.
  • They are firm to touch and dome-shaped.

Basil Cell Carcinoma

  • Most common, least dangerous form of skin cancer.
  • Red, pale or pearly in colour, appears as a lump or dry, scaly area.
  • May ulcerate or fail to completely heal.
  • Grows slowly, usually on areas that are often exposed to the sun.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • A thickened, red scaly spot that may bleed easily, crust or ulcerate.
  • Grows over some months, usually on areas often exposed to the sun.
  • More likely to occur in people over 50 years of age.

 

Know Your ABCD’s

‘A’ is for Asymmetry

Asymmetry means one half of a mole does not match the other half. Normal moles are symmetrical. When checking your moles or freckles, draw an imaginary line through the middle and compare the two halves. If they do not look the same on both sides, have it checked by a dermatologist.

‘B’ is for Border

If the border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular, have it checked by a dermatologist. Melanoma lesions often have uneven borders.

‘C’ is for Color

A mole that does not have the same color throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.

‘D’ is for Diameter

A mole is suspicious if the diameter is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
A mole that is evolving – shrinking, growing larger, changing color, begins to itch or bleed – should be checked.

We all have skin  •  We all live under the sun  •  Let’s all get sun smart

When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is the key!

  • Protect the skin you have – slip, slop, slap, seek and slide
  • Get to know your skin now
  • Examine your own skin regularly
  • Detect change at an early stage and see your doctor immediately
  • Treat early
  • Don’t let a skin cancer get out of hand and spread to other parts of your body
  • Aim for total cure by detecting and treating early

Sun Cancer Risk factors

Endogenous

 

  • Age and sun exposure
  • Skin type
  • Gene: Dysplastic Nevi Syndrome; Basal cell nevus syndrome
  • Immune system: Organ transplant; Cancer treatment

 

Exogenous

 

  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Ionising radiation
  • Virus infection
  • Chemicals: Arsenic; Industrial, Dyes
  • Chronic irritation
  • Hyperthermia

Sunscreen and UV light

  • UVB radiation can induce DNA damage as well as a myriad of effects on other cellular structures and functions which results in BCC, SCC and MM.
  • UVC doesn’t reach the earth’s surface since it is absorbed by the ozone layer but can cause mutations ad immuno suppressive effects that are essential to photo-carcinogenesis.
  • Sunscreens work primarily through two mechanisms: Scattering and reflection of UV energy and absorption of UV energy.
  • SPF stands for SUN Protection Factors, it is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent the development of one of the consequences of massive UV (mainly UVB) overexposure, erythema. SPF 30, broad spectrum is considered the most effective.

Early Diagnosis & Treatment

  • Self check all suspicious spots
  • Any new, changing spots or spots that become symptomatic need to be checked ASAP
  • Dermoscopy allows doctors to visualise the structures and colours that can not be seen with the naked eye.
  • With training and experience, dermoscopy has been shown to significantly improve the clinical diagnosis of melanocytic or non melanocytic lesions
  • Our clinic uses Dermlite 4 the newest technology
  • Solar keratosis is precancerous and can develop into SCC(80%) and BCC(20%) if not treated
  • Solar keratosis serves as a marker of excess sun exposure and damage
  • Treatment includes spot treatment or field treatment
  • Our clinic offers PDT one day only treatment

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