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diagnóstico de cáncer de piel inmediato (DIC)

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer comprises a set of diseases for which new and uncontrolled tissues are generated in different layers of the skin.

Diagnosis, treatment and prognosis are very different: the only thing they have in common is the same anatomic location and a similar clinical aspect on the skin.

Who can get it and how to prevent it?

Skin cancer is more common among people with fair skin, and the main risk factor, among others, is continued exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight.

The ultraviolet rays from artificial sources of light such as tanning booths and sun lamps are as dangerous as the sun's rays and should be avoided.

The best prevention of skin cancer, therefore, is the constant use of measures to protect the skin from the sun and especially sunburn. Another way to prevent skin cancer is early diagnosis of any problems that may lead to cancer.

In addition, some cancers develop within moles or nevi. So if you have a large number of moles, you should periodically see a specialist to monitor and detect any potential issues.

How to recognize it?

Skin cancer varies in color and form. Many times a change in the skin’s appearance is an indication of skin cancer. For example a sore that doesn’t heal may be an indication of skin cancer. Other times it may show as a little bump, nodule or cyst with a soft, shiny and waxy appearance. It may also have red or reddish brown color. Skin cancer can also appear as a rough or scaly red patch.

Not all changes in the skin mean that there is cancer; but you should always call your dermatologist if you notice any changes. Early detection and appropriate treatment increase the chance of cure.

Main types of skin cancer

There are three main types of cancer that originate in the skin and each affects one of the different types of cells that make the skin:

  • Basal cell carcinoma, which originates in the cells of the basal germinative layer, the last layer of the skin.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the squamous cells.
  • Melanoma, affecting the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the pigmentwhich tans the skin to protect the deeper layers from solar radiation.

Carcinomas are the most common types of skin cancer and also those with better prognosis (greater chance of recovery). Melanoma, although not as common, is much more serious if diagnosed late.

Doctor Pablo Umbert

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