Cancer is not a single disease with a lone type of treatment. There are more than 200 various types of cancer, each with its own name and treatment. Cancer that forms in the tissues of the skin is known as skin cancer. Cancer advice taken in an earlier stage is always better, so as to start the treatment quickly.
There are different types of skin cancer. Skin cancer which forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment) is known as melanoma and cancer which forms in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) is known as basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancer which forms in squamous cells (flat cells which form the surface of the skin) is known as squamous cell carcinoma and lastly, the cancer which forms in neuroendocrine cells (cells which release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system) is known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.
Majority of skin cancers are formed in older people on body parts that are exposed to the sun or in individuals who have weakened immune systems. Most people with alleged skin cancer are referred to a specialist at their nearby hospital for advice and treatment. An expert in treating skin diseases is called a dermatologist. However, depending on the part of the body affected by the cancer and the type of treatment needed, you could also be referred to a general or a plastic surgeon.
A specialist could tell a great deal from a simple examination of the affected area, whether the cancer is benign (non cancerous) or malignant, after which you might be advised to have a biopsy.
Biopsy is a simple and quick process that could usually be done in the outpatients’ department using local anesthesia. In this process, the doctor removes all or part of the affected area and sends it to the laboratory. In the laboratory, it would be examined under a microscope by a pathologist.
Treating Skin Cancer
Surgery is a vital treatment for many skin cancers as it could be done in a variety of ways. Small cancers could generally be removed under local anesthesia. When larger tumors are removed, flaps or skin grafts are at times needed to restore the removed skin. In most of the cases, surgery is the only treatment needed.
You can also find some more information if you go through some of the medical articles on skin cancer.