Skin cancer contrary to melanoma is the most common cancer in humans. Basal cell carcinoma of the skin occurs first in a frequency of about 80%, followed by squamous cell carcinoma and tumors of the skin components. Skin cancer usually has a good prognosis as it is diagnosed quickly. The fact that it is obvious and aesthetically bothers patients contributes to the diagnosis. Skin cancer just like melanoma does not hurt but it is often annoying as it bleeds. If removed in the early stages a few millimeters it is completely curable while rarely recurring.
As mentioned above the most common skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (BCC). This carcinoma develops slowly and is rarely intoxicated. The examination of a lesion, ie the examination of the skin with a simple glance, by a doctor usually leads the patient in time to the specialist for the more specific treatment.
The popular belief that these lesions should not be teased and that they are just pimples that “get wild” if one touches them is wrong especially when they appear in special places such as the nose, eyelids and generally on the head. Thus, we often see large cancers that are more difficult to remove without obvious postoperative scars and scars. In addition, we often see metastases in large tumors, although basal cell carcinoma has a mild biological behavior.
The normal tendency of any skin cancer is to grow in size, superficially and in depth. The longer we leave it, the more complicated the treatment becomes. This tumor usually does not get into other organs of the body and so the local treatment of the problem is the final treatment.
After surgery, the tissue should always be examined by a pathologist to confirm the radical removal of the tumor. Small tumors can be removed by simple resection and direct suturing of the resulting tissue defect. Removing larger tumors requires some form of repair using loose skin grafts or local flaps.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer commonly occurring on the lips, face and ears. It has metastatic potential especially in lymph nodes and for this reason it can be fatal. About 20% of non-melanoma skin cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Differentiation of BCC and SCC can often only be done using a microscope, as their external appearance may be exactly the same. SCC tends to grow faster, heal faster, as well as quickly form an overgrown tumor with or without crust.
Problems occur in neglected cancers. Patients who come with tumors of a few centimeters and especially in difficult places such as eyelids, nose, lips, ears and generally on the head recur more often even after removal and show increased morbidity and mortality.
Metastasis is easier in large tumors. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is more biologically aggressive than basal cell carcinoma but fortunately it is about 15-20% rarer. It gets drunk more easily and relapses more often.
Component tumors are an exception as they are particularly aggressive tumors and their diagnosis requires extensive removal of normal tissue to prevent recurrence. It needs an excision of 25 square centimeters, ie a small tumor must be removed 5 by 5 centimeters of tissue. Another particularly aggressive skin tumor is melanoma of the skin. Melanoma originates from melanocytes and has a large metastatic potential. In the early stages survival reaches 95% while this number is reversed in advanced melanoma.
Skin melanoma occurs in only 30% of pre-existing nevi (olive). Nevertheless, we need to check our skin regularly. The clinical picture of skin cancer is a lump or ulcer or plaque that usually has small blood vessels on its surface and is bleeding. Melanoma is usually a first appearing black irregular bicolor spot that looks like an ugly mole.
The ABCDE rule is very useful for skin examination:
- Α – Asymmetry
- B – Border: Irregular perimeter
- C – Color: two and three usually dark colors
- D – Diameter: over half a centimeter
- E – Evolving
In any case, a visit to the Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist to examine a new lesion can be life-saving.
D-shaped skin cancer resection to maintain the shape and position of the eyebrow. The healing is excellent after a few months and in the end of the year an even more indistinguishable scar is expected.
Superficial lower eyelid resection for neglected lower eyelid cancer. Repair with a cartilaginous graft from the nasal septum. The skin restoration was done with a Tripier flap from the upper eyelid. Healing in two months.
- Skin cancer - Melanoma