Skin cancer has remained a public health problem for a long time. It is estimated that nearly 9,000 people die from skin cancers in the US alone each year, and millions are treated for the same conditions. It is important that you have your skin checked in case you notice skin cancer might be developing in different parts of the body.
There are multiple treatment options for skin cancers, including nonmelanoma skin cancers. What is important is to identify the skin cancer early and take action.
How Fast Does Skin Cancer Grow? Common Signs You Should Notice
When skin cancer starts after being exposed to the sun or other reasons, the rate at which it grows varies based on the type and the individual. Some skin cancers might grow faster than others. Expect most to grow within weeks and will be easily noticeable. Others might take months or longer before covering a large area.
We explain the importance of skincare, including how to identify the skin cancer type and its growth rate. We can see that the common cancer types are squamous cell cancers and basal cell cancers.
Squamous cell skin cancer grows more rapidly than basal cell cancer. It is also possible for squamous cell skin cancers to easily spread over large areas of the body within a few weeks. If left untreated, the condition can be harder to treat later. So, handle it as soon as possible as squamous cell skin cancer is fast-spreading.
The basal cell carcinomas, on the other hand, are very slow growing and might rarely spread to other parts of the body. This type of skin cancer sometimes might go unnoticed. However, basal cell cancer can still spread to the healthy cells around it until successfully treated.
Melanoma skin cancer is more dangerous than squamous cell skin cancers and basal skin cancer cells. The good thing is that it is less common than squamous cell carcinomas but should not be taken lightly. It can be life-threatening in six weeks because of how fast it spreads.
Here are some common signs of skin cancer
- You bleed easily on the top layer of the skin
- A waxy bump for non-melanoma skin cancer
- A red and firm nodule
- A flat scaly lesion with a crusted surface
- A color and size changing mole
- Dark lesions on the palms, toes, fingertips, or soles
Best Treatments For Skin Cancer
The different types of skin cancer might have different skin cancer treatment. For this reason, there is a need for a proper diagnosis to treat skin cancer correctly. Most skin cancers will have their treatments readily available. Here are the commonly used treatments for common skin cancers.
Surgery is a common primary treatment for squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. A qualified dermatologist or doctor can perform outpatient surgery to remove the cancer cells. The surgery types used in this case include;
- Mohs surgery
- Reconstructive surgery
- Lymph node biopsy
- Laser surgery
After skin cancer screening, the dermatologist can decide on topical treatment, even for squamous skin cancer. This non-surgical procedure can be used alone or in combination with others to help eliminate cancer cells.
It is a common method for the early stages of different skin cancer cells before they spread. The method is also vital to prevent pre-cancerous lesions.
Chemotherapy would be recommended to kill cancer cells in case of advanced skin cancer. This method is common for Merkel cell carcinoma, which might have spread to various parts of the body. You can also have topical chemotherapy for localized basal cell carcinoma.
There is a need to find the appropriate chemotherapy type for your condition. That is why a qualified doctor must be involved.
Healthcanal.com gives you ideas on taking care of your health as you continue to receive chemotherapy for skin cancer. Some side effects of this method may include digestive issues and immune suppression.
Radiation treatment can also be used in treating skin cancer. It is mostly a follow-up method after the surgical removal of the cancer cells. The aim is to kill as many cancer cells that might remain behind.
The method also effectively eliminates skin cancer in case it comes back. It helps relieve skin cancer symptoms. The common radiation therapy types include;
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
Skinly Aesthetics also recommends the use of other treatments such as TomoTherapy. This method combines the use of IMRT plus improved accuracy of computed tomography. This means that it becomes easier to scan and confirm the exact location and shape within seconds. This allows for the proper treatment of skin cancer.
We can also see how such a method will reduce the side effects of damaging the healthy normal cells close to the cancer cells.
We can see how skin cancer can also be life-threatening if left untreated. Others are less dangerous but can spread to other parts, making it harder to treat them. So, whichever the skin cancer type, it is vital to always have them treated as soon as possible. Do not let them spread before taking action.