The causes of skin cancer are not well understood. Some factors are known to increase the risk of developing skin cancer. These factors include:
1. Prolonged exposure to the sun. Insolation is the most important risk factor for skin cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a WHO affiliate, lists UV radiation as one of the most dangerous carcinogens.
people from southern regions are much more likely to develop skin cancer than those from northern regions.
2. Using a tanning bed. One session on a tanning bed increases the risk of melanoma by 20%, and each additional session within the same year increases the risk by another almost 2%;
The treatment and prognosis of the disease depend on the extent of the process. Skin cancer, like other localized cancers, is subject to staging. Basal cell cancer is an exception in this situation and has no stages. The tumor simply grows in size, destroying the surrounding tissue.
3. white skin, or skin that contains little melanin, has a higher predisposition to develop malignancy. Melanin is a dark pigment that is produced by special skin cells and serves to protect the skin from the sun’s rays. White skin that has many moles is also extremely prone to developing skin cancer.
4. ionizing radiation. All radioactive radiation from medical equipment or from radioactive substances (e.g. prolonged exposure of skin cells to x-rays for radiologists) affects skin cells and changes their properties.
the stages of squamous cell skin cancer
Stage 0 – cancer cells have just appeared and are located in the surface layer of the skin. At this stage, the disease is detected accidentally, when examining suspicious skin elements.
Stage 1 – the neoplasm does not exceed 2 cm in diameter. It gradually grows into deeper layers of epidermis. Tumor does not cause metastases in lymph nodes. With the right treatment, it is completely cured.
Stage 2 – The tumor is 2-5 cm in diameter. It grows into all layers of the skin. Tumor causes discomfort (pain, itching, burning). A single metastasis forms in a lymph node.
Stage 3 – the tumor is more than 5 cm in diameter. It causes unpleasant sensations. Sores appear on its surface. The cancer affects the muscles, cartilage and bones over which it is located. There is a periodic fever.
Stage 4 – the tumor is large, with jagged edges, covered with bleeding ulcers and crusts. The cancer causes severe intoxication (weight loss, weakness, nausea, headache).