Skin cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the outermost skin layer, caused by unrepaired DNA damage that triggers mutations. These mutations lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. The main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in the lower part of the epidermis. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the flat cells that form the surface of the skin. Cutaneous melanoma is cells that make pigments in the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) arises from the endocrine (hormonal) cells and nervous systems in the epidermis. Most Dermatologists provide Mohs Surgery or also Chemosurgery.
It’s essential to check your skin for suspicious moles once a month and report anything unusual to your health care professional. Remember the ABCDE rule: Asymmetry (one half of the mole doesn’t match the other), Border irregularity, Color that is not uniform, Diameter greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser), and Evolving size, shape, or color.
Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is a type of skin cancer that develops from the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. Melanomas typically occur in the skin but may rarely occur in the mouth, intestines, or eye (uveal melanoma).
Metastasis correlates with the depth of dermal invasion. With this type of spread, the prognosis is less for complete remission. All suspect melanoma cases should have a confirmed diagnosis by biopsy. Complete surgical excision is the rule for operable tumors to prevent potential spread. Metastatic melanoma disease requires systemic therapy.
Correctly diagnosing skin cancer will indicate how far it has already spread and what kind of treatment will be suitable.
One method of assigning a stage to melanoma cancer is described as 4 stages of invasion or growth, from 0 to 4:
- Stage 0: Cancer is only present in the outermost layer of skin. Doctors refer to this stage as “melanoma in situ.”
- Stage 1: Cancer is up to 2 millimeters (mm) thick. It has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites, and it may or may not be ulcerated.
- Stage 2: Cancer is at least 1 mm thick but may be thicker than 4 mm. It may or may not be ulcerated, and it has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites.
- Stage 3: Cancer has spread to one or more lymph nodes or nearby lymphatic channels but not distant sites. The origin of cancer may no longer be visible. If it is visible, it may be thicker than 4 mm and also ulcerated.
- Stage 4: Cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or organs, such as the brain, lungs, or liver.
The more advanced a cancer stage is, the harder it is to treat, the worse the outlook becomes.
Superficial spreading melanoma
Superficial melanoma is the most common type of melanoma, and it often appears on the trunk or limbs. The cells tend to grow slowly at first before spreading across the surface of the skin.
Nodular melanoma is the second most common type of melanoma, appearing on the trunk, head, or neck. It tends to grow quicker than other types, and it may appear as a reddish or blue-black color.
Lentigo maligna melanoma
Lentigo maligna melanoma is less common and tends to develop in older adults, especially in parts of the body with excessive sun exposure over several years, such as the face. It starts as a Hutchinson’s freckle, or lentigo maligna, which looks like a stain on the skin. Lentigo maligna has a lower transformation rate to invasive melanoma than the other forms of melanoma in situ. It usually grows slowly and is less dangerous than different types of melanoma.
Acral lentiginous melanoma
Acral lentiginous melanoma is the rarest kind of melanoma cancer. It appears on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under the nails.
Since people with darker skin do not typically get other melanoma types, these tend to be the most common type of melanoma in those with darker skin types.
There are several types of melanoma cells. The CC Treatment responds quite well against these known cell types over several different stage models, as described above. In the early stages, the treatment tends to show progress much more quickly, and less substance is required:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It accounts for about eight out of 10 skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Basal cell carcinoma forms in the basal cells, which are in the lower part of your epidermis (the top layer of your skin).
Basal cell skin cancers can pop up anywhere. Even though it’s a common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma tends to grow very slowly, rarely spreads to other parts of the body, and is very treatable, the ACS says. Here are the various skin changes to look for in early detection.
Basal cell carcinoma symptoms:
- A flat, firm, pale, or yellowish area that resembles a scar.
- Pearly, translucent, shiny bumps, or spots.
- Red or pink raised patches that may also itch.
- Open scabs, sores that don’t heal, or heal and come back.
- Oozing or crusted areas that bleed easily.
- The continued growth of a bump or lesion over time.
It’s important to note that basal cell carcinomas are very sensitive and bleed easily after shaving or minor injuries. If what you think is a nick or cut and it doesn’t heal within roughly a week—or you notice any of the changes above—see your doctor.
Keep in mind that BCC’s can also look different from the descriptions above. In some people, BCCs can resemble noncancerous skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Other times, the disease may be pre-diagnosed when a cut from shaving does not heal. In patients with darker skin, about half of BCC’s are pigmented (meaning brown).
When in doubt, check it out. Follow your instincts and visit your dermatologist if you see anything new, changing, or unusual on your skin.
The CC Treatment has also shown significant progress when used against this type of condition as it kickstarts respiration in cells that have lapsed into fermentation processes. If an immune response occurs during treatment, it is anaerobic cells and most likely cancerous. Confirmation via biopsy is a consideration.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin is the second most common form of skin cancer, characterized by abnormal, accelerated growth of squamous cells. When caught early, most SCC’s are curable.
Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms:
Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinomas tend to manifest as a pink or red bump or patch that won’t go away. However, they’re not usually pearly or shiny.
SCC’s can appear as scaly red patches, open sores, rough, thickened or wart-like skin, or raised growths with a central depression. At times, SCCs may crust over, itch or bleed. The lesions most commonly arise in sun-exposed areas of the body.
These skin cancers can also grow as a flat patch or become more extensive and nodular. Here are other telltale signs to look out for:
- Rough or scaly patches
- Raised bumps that may have a lower area in the center
- Open sores or scabs that don’t heal or heal and come back
- Growths that look like warts
- Itching, bleeding, crusting, or pain
While most SCC’s can be easily and successfully treated, these lesions can become disfiguring, dangerous, and even deadly if allowed to grow. Untreated SCCs can become invasive, grow into deeper layers of skin, and spread to other parts of the body.
History of Mohs Surgery
Microscopic techniques were used by Dr. Mohs to map out cancer around nerves, blood vessels, muscle, and bone. The cancers he examined were removed by shave or saucerizing excision, a technique that removed cancer as a thin disc of tissue so that the tumor and the inflammatory white-cell infiltrate surrounding the cancer could be examined with the microscope.
Dr. Mohs combined zinc chloride solution with stibnite and sanguinaria canadensis to develop a cohesive paste. When he applied the paste (before and after surgery), Mohs found that he could excise the tissue without bleeding. Thus began his groundwork for the technique that today bears his name Mohs Surgery, also known as chemosurgery (the eschar effect).
Solar damage results in a degree of immune tolerance, allowing abnormal cells to grow unchecked. Free radical damage mutates good skin cells contributing to the growth of skin cancer cells. The CC Treatment can help against these types of skin cancers. No toxicity, cost-effective, non-evasive, limited scaring compared to surgery or a complement to Mohs Surgery.