There are several types of skin cancer though some affect more people than others. As a result, the less common cancers resulting from conditions like sebaceous hyperplasia and actinic keratosis are extremely important to identify.
The potential for developing skin cancer is heightened in the spring and summer months, when people expose themselves to sunlight more frequently. As with all types of cancer, being able to identify its development early will make treatment easier and more effective.
This is the deadliest and most common form of skin cancer. One of the telltale signs of a possible case of melanoma is the development of a large number of moles on the skin. Although most moles are normal and do not suggest the possibility of cancer, moles that change their characteristics may indicate the presence of melanoma.
Identifying melanoma early is especially important, because, as it grows, it can spread from the layers of the skin to affect the organs of the body. The lungs, heart, and liver are some of the organs commonly affected in advanced cases of melanoma.
The American Cancer Society recommends the “ABCDE Rule,” when conducting self-exams to check for abnormal moles on the skin:
- Asymmetry: This means looking for instances where two parts of the mole appear different. One half of the mole may be darker or have a different shape, for instance.
- Border: The outer edges of the more may appear irregular or jagged
- Colour: There is discolouration, where the mole may change to appear pink, red, blue, or white, as well as black and dark brown
- Diameter: The surface area of the mole is larger than one-fourth of an inch across. If it appears larger than a pencil eraser, this may indicate a problemEvolving – The mole has changed its appearance over time
If you observe any of these characteristics in moles on your skin, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. He can conduct more thorough tests to determine if you have developed melanoma. If so, you can begin treatment early.
Squamous Cell and Basal Cell Skin Cancers
Although these types of cancer are less deadly than melanoma, they do occur far more commonly. Basal cell carcinoma can occur anywhere on the body, though they more frequently develop in areas that are most often exposed to sunlight. Look for symptoms on the face, neck, arms, and upper chest.
During self-exams, you should look for:
- Flat and firm scar-like blemishes, which appear white or yellowish in colour
- Raised reddish blotches of skin, which can feel itchyPink or red bumps that seem pearly or translucent, but may also have black, blue, or brown discoloration
- Pink growths that are raised around the edges, but are lower or sunken in the center
- Open sores that don’t seem to heal, or sores that do heal and reemerge
Squamous cell carcinoma is similar in that the skin symptoms also show up in areas that receive more direct sunlight. You should look for these skin blemishes on the face, ears, neck, lips, and the hands, though squamous cell cancer can show up on any part of the body.
- Self-exams for this type of skin cancer should focus on identifying these symptoms:
- Red patches that feel rough or scaly, which may also bleed or become encrusted
- Raised lumps or bumps, which sometimes develop a sunken center
- Open sores that won’t heal or close, or sores that heal and come back
- Growths that resemble warts
While these are the most common types of skin cancer, there are many more forms that may affect how the skin appears and feels. For instance, Mycosis fungoides, a form of lymphoma, first presents as an itchy, red rash, but, as it advances, it causes tumours to grow. Those tumours will send malignant cells through the blood stream, where they can infect other organs in the body. Any lesions that develop a similar rash should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
A self-exam to check for various types of skin cancer should be conducted at least once a month. If you observe any new blemishes, or observe previous blemishes that have changed their appearance or texture, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Symptoms, such as itching, tenderness, or discomfort may indicate the early onset of a skin carcinoma. By seeking a diagnosis and treatment as soon as you notice a change to your skin, you may be able to stop the development of skin cancer early.
The prostate gland in men is that which controls urine and also has a part to play in fluid production for the semen in males. This is the gland which is affected when men have prostate cancer. It has been recorded as the most typical kind of cancer amongst men in the United States of America.
What is prostate cancer?
When some cells begin to grow uncontrollably in the body, cancer has begun. There are cells throughout the human body, and any of them can become cancerous and fan out to other parts of the body. Prostate cancer starts when the prostate gland cells begin to grow without control. This male organ is located in the front of the rectum, under the bladder and is as big as a walnut even though that of older men can be even bigger. The urethra which carries sperm and urine out of the body passes right through the middle of this prostate gland while some seminal vesicles located behind the prostate gland produce fluid for sperm. Prostate cancer comes in different kinds
- Small cell carcinomas
- Transitional cell carcinomas
- Neuroendocrine tumors
The most common of all is adenocarcinomas which are developed from the prostate fluid that is produced for sperm. The other kinds exist, but they are very rare. Prostate cancer can grow quickly, but in most cases, it spreads very slowly. If you know an aged or young man who died of other causes, an autopsy might reveal the presence of prostate cancer which was growing too slowly to even manifest.
What are the causes?
The cause of prostate cancer is still unclear. Doctors are aware that it starts when cells in the prostate gland grow abnormal. The DNA of the abnormal cell or cells begin to mutate, grow and divide much faster than all the other normal cells are doing. When other normal cells have lived out their lifespan and died, the abnormal ones live on and do not die.
As this continues, the abnormal cells will accumulate over time and construct a tumour. That tumour can continue growing until invades the space of tissues close by. In some cases, these abnormal cells do not only cause problems in one place; they can break away and metastasize or spread to other segments of the patient’s body.
It is possible for prostate cancer to be treated effectively before it metastasizes. Once it spreads, it becomes more threatening to the patient. Prostate cancer typically spreads through bones.
What are the treatments?
Your prostate cancer has to be diagnosed and the stage identified before options for treatment can be discussed. You and the doctor have a lot to go over before deciding on a plan for treatment. Every treatment has its feasible side effects and risks, and so you have to compare those against e advantages before choosing. According to the particular case, here are treatment options for men who have prostate cancer:
- Radiation therapy
- Active surveillance or watchful waiting
- Hormone therapy
- Cryosurgery (cryotherapy)
- Bone-directed treatment
- Vaccine treatment
In some cases, these treatments stated above could be combined to treat your prostate cancer, but generally, they are applied one at a time.
Different doctors can treat prostate cancer, but these are the main kind of doctors who do:
- Radiations oncologists: these doctors use radiation therapy to treat cancer.
- Urologists: these surgeons treat urinary system diseases and other diseases of the male reproductive system as well as prostate cancer.
- Medical oncologists: these doctors treat cancer with medicines including hormone therapy or chemotherapy
Other medical specialists including nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nutrition specialists and social workers can be part of your prostate cancer treatment team.
What is the survival rate?
The survival rates of prostate cancer will give you information about the number of people diagnosed with a certain of prostate cancer who are still alive after a stipulated time, usually a period of 5 years. This does not ensure that you will live for a certain amount of time but simply gives more insight into how possible success is for your treatment. You don’t have to know the survival rate of your stage of prostate cancer, some men know, and some do not want to know.
According to very recent data, these are the survival rates of prostate cancer across all stages:
- Respective survival rate of 5 years is 99%
- Respective survival rate of 10 years is 98%
- Respective survival rate of 15 years is 96%
When comparing the above survival rates, keep in mind that survival rate of 5 years is based on information from men that have been diagnosed and treated 5 years ago and the same for 10 and 15 years.
The survival rate of prostate cancer according to stages is as follows:
- Local prostate cancer: respective survival rate of 5 years is 100%
- Regional prostate cancer: respective survival rate of 5 years is 100%
- Distant prostate cancer: respective survival rate of 5 years is 29%
Many people are getting worried and are looking for a better understanding of how cancer develops in a body and ways to prevent them from spreading. It can be very misleading when most of the reports you’ve read about cancer prevention are very misleading. Sometimes, tips that are recommended in certain studies are advised against another study of a prominent research group or university. However in most cases, what is known today about cancer prevention is still growing. Still, it is accepted well among the populace that the chances of you getting cancer all boil down to the lifestyle choices you take.
If you are concerned about cancer prevention, you’d be happy to learn that simple actions you do and commit it to habit are enough to put cancer cells at bay or even prevent them from growing into your body in the first place. Consider the following tips:
Avoid using tobacco
Any tobacco products will set you straight on the path of getting cancer. There are a lot of reports that link smoking to different types of cancer. The most common one is lung cancer, but other types of cancers such as kidney, cervix, bladder, pancreas, larynx, throat and mouth are included in the list. Chewing on tobacco has also been associated with cancer of the pancreas and oral cavity. Even if you are not a tobacco user, when you are exposed to secondhand smoke daily it will increase the risk of lung cancer.
You can start avoiding tobacco or decide on stopping its use. It is one of the most important decisions for your health that you will make. It is also important to prevent cancer from spreading. If you require assistance in quitting tobacco, you can ask for advice from your doctor on guiding you what you should do. They usually provide strategies and recommend products that aid you in putting a stop to your tobacco use.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding healthy diet, which is why a lot of people fail in their health goals. Make sure that you ask your doctor what the proper way to achieve a healthy balanced diet and not the diet promoted by your favorite celebrity wherein they claim as being effective for them is. There are certain cases wherein your body can’t tolerate the kind of diet that your fave celebrity is going through, which will only worsen your condition even if you don’t have cancer, to begin with.
Here are some guidelines that will help you get started.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits. Base your daily diet on vegetables, fruits and many other foods from plant sources like beans and whole grains.
- As much as possible, avoid getting obese. This is not about the morality of being fat. Obesity has mostly been associated with triggering certain health problems that can be deadly. Go for leaner and lighter by choosing high-calorie foods but in lower amounts. This also includes fat coming from animals and refined sugars.
- If you want to drink alcohol, make sure you do it in moderation. There is a high risk of getting cancer when you drink alcohol at an excessive level.
- Limit your intake in processed meats. Reports coming from a cancer agency under the World Health Organization referred to as International Agency for Research on Cancer, concluded that consuming processed meat in large amounts increases the risk of certain kinds of cancer.
There are also gender-specific cancers that you want to check out on how to prevent them. However, keep in mind that certain cancers have no definite cause to it, but the steps above will help you reduce its chance to take over your life.