What is Skin Cancer?
The uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells which results in tumour formation in humans is called skin cancer. Skin cancers are caused by the effect of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The ultraviolet radiation causes DNA damage in human skin cells, which enable them to multiply uncontrollably, trigger genetic defects, and form malignant tumours. Skin cancers can be divided into two main categories:
- Melanoma type skin cancers: Melanomas can be observed rarely, but since they have the potential to spread to all internal and external organs, they are considered the most dangerous type of skin cancers.
- Non-Melanoma skin cancers: Non-melanoma skin cancers are less likely to spread to other organs. They are considered to be less dangerous since they can be treated with small and simple surgical procedures.
What are the Types of Skin Cancer?
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC):
It is the most common type of skin cancer originating from basal cells in the epidermis. It progresses slowly and does not metastasize. These types of cancers are rarely life-threatening.
- Squamous cell cancer (SCC):
It is a common skin cancer type, originating from squamous cells. Its frequent localisations are lips, facial area and ears. It can spread to the lymph nodes and sometimes to the internal organs. This type of skin cancer can progress to life-threatening conditions if left untreated.
- Malignant Melanoma (MM):
It is a type of skin cancer that originates from the cells that produce melanin (melanocytes). Malignant Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers. It is usually seen more frequently in people living in areas with regular sun exposure. It is the most dangerous type of skin cancers, and if it is diagnosed at early stages, there is a chance for treatment. The delay in the diagnosis and treatment of malignant Melanoma is often fatal for patients.
What are the Risk Factors for Skin Cancer Development?
- Having a lighter skin colour
- Having a complexion that easily freckles
- Having too many nevi in the body
- Having a family history of skin cancer
- Living in high altitude areas near the equator and having intense sunlight exposure throughout the year
- Having a history of radiotherapy for any reason
- Having an open wound that is resistant to treatment for a long time
- Chronic exposure to chemical carcinogens such as arsenic, tar
- Exposure to chronic micro traum
What is the treatment of Skin Cancer?
The treatment of skin cancer varies according to the type of skin, the stage of cancer, and the location of the lesion. If the cancerous region is small, surgical removal can be easily performed with local anaesthesia. In these small and less dangerous types, scraping (curettage), electric current destruction (desiccation), and freezing destruction of cancer cells (cryotherapy) can be performed. However, these methods are less reliable in terms of treatment; they are more likely to leave scars and deformation.
If the cancerous region is large and has spread to lymph nodes or another part of the body, extensive surgical procedures may be needed to treat this skin cancer. Other possible treatment options for skin cancers in addition to surgical treatment are radiotherapy (radiation therapy) and chemotherapy (administration of anticancer drugs).
Procedure Summary Table
|Procedure||Type of Procedure||Duration of the Procedure||Type of anaesthesia||Duration of Hospitalisation||Back to Work||Healing|
Skin Cancer Removal
|Plastic Surgery||1-2 hours||General / Sedation||1 day/ Out patient||3-7 days||Depends on the patient|
Skin Cancers Frequently Asked Questions
It is against the law in Turkey for the healthcare organisations including private practices to indicate prices online for procedures, treatments or consultations. Please contact us by calling or texting ?+90 541 334 3484 (WhatsApp available) or ☏ +90 212 257 1515 for the average cost of the procedure or any other enquiries related to the procedure. You need to send some photos to the Patient Care Coordinator to be examined by Professor Yazar to get the exact all-inclusive price.
Keratoses, on the other hand, are skin lesions that appear as rough or scaly patches with brown or red tops. They are generally seen in areas where the skin is most exposed to the sun. They are likely to turn into cancer and all moles showing these symptoms should be removed via surgical methods.
- In the form of a small white and pink mass
- The surface is smooth, bright, pit-shaped
- In the form of a dry, scaly, red spot
- Shelled, red, lump-shaped
- Crusty in the form of small masses side by side
- In the form of a white patch that looks like a scar
- Lesions that do not heal within 2-4 weeks and can cause bleeding and pain
Malignant Melanoma usually starts from a nevus or from healthy skin. The following changes occurring in any nevus are considered as warning criteria for cancer:
- Edge irregularity
- Being in different colour shades
- Crusting on it
- Redness around it
- Hair growth increase
- More than 6 mm in size or an abnormal growth
Nevus, which most of the above changes are observed, should be removed by surgical procedures and should be subjected to histopathological examination for Malignant Melanoma.
- Regular check-ups
- Avoiding sun exposure in the summer months, especially between 11:00 and 14:30.
- Being careful not to forget that ultraviolet rays can be reflected from sand and snow by passing through water and cloud.
- Trying to wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing when it is necessary to stay outdoors for a long time
- Checking the skin regularly, consulting a specialist doctor in case of doubt
- Using at least fifteen-factor sunscreens at regular intervals for the sun-exposed areas of our skin after swimming in environments such as the sea, pool, etc.
Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon Professor Yazar is available in his private practice based in Nisantasi, Istanbul for appointments to provide detailed and tailored information on the procedure.