Skin Tumors

What is skin cancer and what are its causes? – 2022

skin cancer

What is skin cancer and what are its causes?

Skin cancer occurs when a mutation occurs in the DNA of skin cells. These mutations cause the cells to grow uncontrollably and form a mass of cancer cells.

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Lec. 9 | Surgery Major [ Group C ] ( Dr. Mohamad ) | Skin Tumors 2022


When should I see a doctor?

If you notice any changes in your skin that will cause you discomfort, make an appointment with your doctor. Not all skin changes cause cancer. Your doctor will examine your skin to determine the cause.

What is skin cancer and what are its causes?

Skin cancer occurs when a mutation occurs in the DNA of skin cells. These mutations cause the cells to grow uncontrollably and form a mass of cancer cells.

Cells seen in skin cancer:

Skin cancer starts in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. The epidermis is a thin layer that provides a protective covering of skin cells that are constantly shed from the body. The epidermis contains three main cell types:

  • Squamous cells are located just below the top surface and serve as the inner cell layer of the skin.
  • Basal cells produce new skin cells and are located just below the squamous cells.
  • Melanocytes produce melanin, a pigment that gives the skin its normal color and are located in the lower part of the epidermis. Melanocytes produce more melanin when exposed to the sun to help protect the deeper layers of the skin.

Knowing where your cancer started allows you to determine the type of cancer and treatment options.

Ultraviolet light and other potential causes:

Most of the DNA damage in skin cells is caused by ultraviolet (UV-ultraviolet) radiation, which is present in sunlight and light used in solariums. However, exposure to the sun does not explain skin cancers that normally occur on skin that is not exposed to the sun’s rays. This symptom indicates that there are other factors that contribute to your risk of cancer, such as exposure to toxins or a concern that weakens the immune system.

What are the risk factors for skin cancer?

Factors that increase your risk of skin cancer include:

  • Light skin color. Anyone can have skin cancer, regardless of skin color. However, the low amount of pigment (melanin) in your skin provides less protection against harmful ultraviolet radiation. If you have blonde or red hair and colored eyes and are prone to freckles or sunburn, you are more likely to develop skin cancer than someone with a darker complexion.
  • The history of sunburn. Having had one or more sunburns during childhood or adolescence, which also include watery skin, increases the risk of developing cancer in later life. Sunburn during adolescence is also a risk factor.
  • Excessive sun exposure. Especially if the skin is not protected by sunscreen or lotion or a dress, anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun can get skin cancer. In addition to exposure to solarium devices, tanning can also put you at risk. Bronze skin is a response to the damage your skin is exposed to excessive UV rays.
  • Sunny or high ground climates. People living in sunny, warm climates are more exposed to sunlight than people living in colder climates. Living in a high place where the sun’s rays are strongest also exposes you to more radiation.

– Skin spots. People with a large number of skin spots or abnormal skin spots called dysplastic nevus have an increased risk of cancer. These abnormal skin spots, which have an irregular appearance and are generally larger than normal skin spots, are more likely to develop into cancer than others. If you have a story of abnormal skin spots, monitor your spots regularly to see if there are any changes.

– Precancerous skin spots. Having skin blemishes, known as actinic keratoses, can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. These precancerous skin growths usually appear as hard, scaly patches that range from brown to dark pink. These are seen on the faces, heads and hands of light-skinned people who have extensive sun damage on their skin.

The story of skin cancer in the family. If your mother or father or brother has had skin cancer in the past, you may also be at increased risk.

A personal skin cancer story. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer once, you are at risk of recurrence.

Weakened immune system. People with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for skin cancer. This includes people with HIV / AIDS and patients who use drugs that suppress the immune system after an organ transplant.

Exposure to radiation. People receiving radiation therapy for skin conditions such as eczema and acne have an increased risk of skin cancer, especially basal cell carcinoma.

Exposure to certain substances. Exposure to certain substances, such as arsenic, may increase the risk of cancer.


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