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Skin cancer: an initial stage, forms, symptoms and treatment

One of the most common problems in oncology is skin cancer. Every day the number of patients with this problem increases several times.

Symptoms and treatment of skin cancer vary greatly depending on the form and stage of the lesion. Let us consider in more detail what the disease is, and what it is.


Skin cancer - what is it?

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is a group of malignant neoplasms of the skin. In the structure of general morbidity, this pathology accounts for about 9% of all cancers.

  • The incidence of pathology is growing every year, it is equally susceptible to men and women. It often develops in elderly and senile individuals.
  • The disease prevails in people with light, sensitive skin that live in areas with high insolation and spend a lot of time in the sun.

Oncology of the skin in terms of histology is divided into squamous and basal cell carcinoma. The tumor usually develops on the open parts of the body (face, hands), although there are cases when the disease hit the shin, foot and other parts of the body.

One of the key factors that contributes to the development of the disease is prolonged and prolonged sun exposure. This is confirmed by the fact that in most cases the tumor is located in the open areas of the body, which are exposed to the sun.

In addition, the risk of malignant neoplasms increases permanent injuries and skin burns with scarring. Heavy metals and some chemical compounds have a carcinogenic effect.

Precancerous conditions

The development of the disease is facilitated by various pathological processes on the skin, which are called precancerous. They are divided into two large groups:

1. Optional. This is a condition that, when confronted, can lead to the development of a tumor. These include: radiation and trophic ulcers, skin horn, keratoses, scars, syphilitic chancroid, keratoacanthoma, etc.

2. Loan. These are diseases that are subject to immediate treatment, since the likelihood of their transition to cancer is very high. These include:

  • Pigment xeroderma is a hereditary disease that manifests itself already in childhood. It is characterized by increased sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet irradiation. In a patient with a pigmentary xeroderma, those areas of the skin that have been exposed to ultraviolet light begin to turn red, swell and become stained. Later, the skin in the area of ​​these spots darkens and flakes, scars and telangiectasias are formed.
    The transformation of pigment xeroderm into cancer occurs almost always, so most patients die at the age of 17-25;
  • Bowen's disease. Usually occurs in men of elderly and senile age. A small single tumor can occur on any part of the body. This disease almost always degenerates into a malignant neoplasm and can be combined with tumors of other organs;
  • Paget's disease. Small rounded formations in the area of ​​the nipples, armpits and genitals. The shape is reminiscent of red plaques with distinct contours. Patients may suffer from itching and discomfort in the area of ​​the affected skin;
  • Erythroplasia of Keira. Bright red plaques are located on the mucous membranes, easily pass into non-healing ulcers and are often malignant (turn into cancer);
  • Star keratoma and keratosis.

Detection of an optional or obligate precancer in the patient should be a signal to begin treatment and control the condition in the future.

Stages of skin cancer

Determining the stage of the disease helps to plan and develop tactics and treatment options. There are 4 stages of skin cancer:

  • Stage 1 - the maximum size of the primary tumor to 20 mm.
  • Stage 2 - the size of the tumor is more than 2 cm. The depth of lesion is no more than 3-4 mm.
  • Stage 3 - the tumor penetrates into the subcutaneous fatty tissue, muscles, bones and other structures. Single metastases in regional lymph nodes are observed.
  • Stage 4 - a tumor of different sizes with multiple metastases.

Separately isolated preinvasive cancer (cancer in situ).

Skin cancer photo initial stage

The initial stage of skin cancer, on which tumor cells do not germinate into the underlying tissue and can die on their own or the disease will pass to a more severe degree.

This formation is of small size and does not show itself. It can only be detected by accident.

Skin cancer photo initial stage

Skin cancer photo 2 initial stage

Skin cancer photo initial stage

photo 3

Skin cancer photo initial stage

photo 4

Symptoms of skin cancer and the first signs, photo

Skin Cancer Symptoms Photo The first signs of skin cancer depend on the histological form of the tumor and the condition of the patient. Consider the symptoms and signs of skin cancer of various types.

Basal cell tumor

There are several forms of basal cell carcinoma:

  1. Nodal. It occurs more often than others. The tumor is a small red node that rises above the surface of the skin;
  2. Ulcerative. On the skin appears a painful ulcer with indistinct edges, which gradually increases in size. Does not give in to conservative treatment;
  3. Superficial. Outwardly it looks like a round purple plaque, on the edges of which small nodules can be located;
  4. Sclerosing. Scars and areas of atrophied skin appear;
  5. Infiltrative. Cancer grows in the deep layers of the dermis.

Squamous cell tumor

There are two forms or stages of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin:

  1. Exophytic. Education is a knot on a wide leg. Rarely, the appearance of the tumor is similar to the cock's comb. This tuberous formation quickly becomes covered with crusts and bleeds easily when touching;
  2. Infiltrative. Outwardly resembles an ulcer with irregular margins, which quickly grows into surrounding tissues. For this adverse form, rapid metastasis is characteristic.

Only appearance can not be a criterion for setting a diagnosis, therefore, having noticed a suspicious education, it is worth to visit a specialist and undergo a series of surveys to identify the nature of the problem.

Treatment of skin cancer

Treatment of skin cancer

  • To verify the diagnosis, a cytological or histological examination is used. Cytological diagnosis involves the study of smears-prints or cells obtained by puncture or scraping.
  • For histological examination, a biopsy is required. In this case, excise a part of the tumor or the whole of it, and then examine the resulting material under a microscope.

In parallel, CT and MRI are performed to detect possible metastases and check the condition of the lymph nodes.

Treatment of skin cancer depends on the degree of damage, the presence of metastases and the histological structure of the tumor. The main methods of treatment of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are surgery and radiation therapy.

Surgical treatment can radically get rid of malignant neoplasm, and subsequent radiation therapy destroys possible remaining cancer cells. This method is especially effective at stages 1-2 of cancer.

  • Chemotherapy is used for inoperable tumors or the presence of metastases in hard-to-reach areas.

In the presence of contraindications and small tumors, alternative therapies can be used, such as cryo- and photodynamic therapy or drug applications to the affected area.


The prognosis depends on the type of tumor, its location and the stage at which treatment was started. Superficial forms of skin cancer have a favorable course, rarely metastasize and respond well to treatment. Skin cancer, localized on the limbs, metastasizes faster and flows more heavily.

Such tumors grow quite slowly and when localized on aesthetically significant areas of the body (face, neck) are quickly noticed by patients and specialists.

Complete cure occurs in 80% of patients, although repeated relapses are possible.

Prevention of Skin Cancer

Treatment of skin cancer Preventative measures are aimed at combating precancerous diseases, as well as early detection and treatment of such conditions.

In addition, pay attention to the harmful effect of excess ultraviolet radiation and take measures to protect against its influence. Individuals whose profession is associated with the action of potential carcinogens on the skin, use personal protective equipment.

Skin cancer, diagnosed at an early stage, is cured in most patients. Taking care of your health will help to notice malignant degeneration on time and take the necessary measures.


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