Skin Cancer Prognosis

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Skin cancer is a rare type of cancer which occurs when the malignant cells attack the outer layers of the skin. This cancer mainly occurs due to over exposure to ultraviolet radiations. It is extremely important to cure skin cancer at early stages to prevent further spread of the disease. American Cancer Research states that more than 20,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer every year. Skin cancer prognosis gives us an overall analysis of the stages of tumor and the techniques used to treat this disease.

Skin cancer is mainly classified into following types:-

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Malignant carcinoma

Among all these types, malignant carcinoma is considered as the most severe form of skin cancer. Before studying skin cancer prognosis, it is very important to have a brief idea about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Symptoms of this cancer are as follows:-

  • Moles observed in the area of location of the tumor. These moles are crust red or pale yellow in color.
  • Ulcers observed at the area of the location. These ulcers are red in color and tend to cause inflammation.
  • Red patches which are more than 5mm in diameter
  • Bumps on parts of the body such as arms, neck and face
  • Change in the color of the skin

Diagnosis of the tumor is done by conducting several blood tests and other scans. Special tests for diagnosis include physical examination, biopsy, metascopy and chest X-Rays.

Treatment is done with the help of surgery where a local anaesthesia is given to the patient. Then the area of the tumor is cut with the help of a special instrument and the malignant cells and tumor is removed successfully from the body.

Other techniques include chemotherapy where a cream is prescribed. The drugs present in this cream destroy the tumor and the malignant cells. Along with this, medications are prescribed which prevent the recurrence of the tumor.

Radiotherapy is also performed for the treatment of this tumor. In this therapy, radioactive waves are passed through the location. These waves kill the malignant cells and the tumor on the spot. This therapy is mainly used for treating the tumor which occurs on the face as it is very expensive form of treatment. However, it can also be used for treating tumor on other parts of the body.

Skin cancer prognosis:-

Skin cancer prognosis can be very good if the tumor is detected at early stages. Skin cancer prognosis tends to change as the tumor develops further into other stages. This cancer is generally divided into four stages:-

  • 1st Stage:-

    At this stage, the tumor starts occurring at the area of location. It is limited to the location and does not spread to other parts of the body. Pimples or acne are seen at the location. They are very small and so they are often confused with minor skin infections. Size of the tumor is around 2mm at this stage. If the tumor is removed at this stage with the help of surgery, there are no chances of recurrence. So at this stage the prognosis of the tumor is healthy.

  • 2nd Stage :-

    At this stage, the tumor starts affecting the nearby lymph nodes. The size of the tumor at this stage is generally about 3 to 4mm. Moles are observed at the location of the tumor. These moles are dark red or pale yellow in color. Sometimes, these moles can be observed in an asymmetrical manner. Surgery and chemotherapy are considered as best options for the treatment of the tumor. Chemotherapy involves prescription of a special cream. Thus, cream when applied at the location kills the malignant cells and the tumor successfully. The prognosis at this stage is again considered as healthy.

  • 3rd Stage:-

    At this stage, the tumor starts attaining the level of severity. It has already damaged the lymph node and the respective body part. At this stage, skin cancer prognosis is poor. At this stage, the moles get replaced with big ulcers. These ulcers are crust red in color and cause tremendous inflammation. Topical chemotherapy and immunotherapy are considered as best treatments at this stage as they have the ability to kill the tumor cells in a very short time.

  • 4th Stage :-

    At this stage, the tumor has damaged about 70 percent of the body part. The lymph nodes are completely affected. The diameter of the location of the tumor is about 7mm. The moles and ulcers are very big in shape and cause severe inflammation. The tumor detected at this stage takes more time to get cured. The prognosis of this tumor is lowest as this stage.

    Factors affecting prognosis of the tumor include:-

    • Type of the tumor
    • Stage of the tumor
    • Damage done by the tumor at a particular stage
    • Penetration and thickness of the tumor
    • Symptoms observed during the diagnosis of the tumor

    Skin cancer prognosis also depends upon the survival rate of the disease. Understanding the prognosis of this disease helps us to get an overall idea of the disease and also helps us to understand the level of severity the tumor attains at each stage.

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