Skin Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment


Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, also called non-melanoma skin cancer, types of skin cancer most frequently (70% and 25% respectively). However, despite high rates of incidence, the non-melanoma skin cancer have high cure rates, mainly due to the ease of early diagnosis.

Basal cell carcinomas originate from the epidermis and skin appendages above the basal layer, such as hair, for example. Since squamous cell carcinomas originate in the epidermis queratinócio, may also arise in the squamous epithelium of mucous membranes.

Individuals who work with direct sunlight are more vulnerable to non-melanoma skin cancer. This cancer is more common in adults, with peak incidence around age 40. However, with constant exposure to sunlight of youth, the average age of patients has decreased.

People with fair skin who blush with exposure to the sun are more prone to cancer. The highest incidence of this type of skin cancer occurs in the head and neck, which are precisely the sites of direct exposure to sunlight.

Risk Factors

Excessive exposure to sun is the major risk factor for skin cancer. People living in tropical countries like Brazil and Australia, a country with the highest number of skin cancer in the world, are more exposed to this type of disease.

However, previous skin diseases, chronic irritable factors (angiodérmica ulcer and burn scar) and exposure to chemical factors such as arsenic, for example, can also lead to the diagnosis of skin cancer. In these cases, the disease usually manifests itself after many years of continuous exposure to risk factors.


Although skin cancer has high cure rates, it is also one of the fastest growing types in number of diagnoses in recent years. The best way to avoid its manifestation is through prevention. Sun exposure should be avoided in the period from 10h to 16h. Even during the appropriate time is necessary to use adequate protection such as hats, umbrellas, sunglasses and sunscreen with protection factor 15 or more.

Sunscreen mitigates some harmful effects of sun, such as burns, thus giving a false sense of security. It is important to remember that sunscreens protect from sunlight, however, they are not intended to extend the time in the sun. All sunscreens should be transferred every 30 minutes of exposure.


People who have skin sores that take more than four weeks to heal, change in color signals, spots that itch, burn, peel, or sacred, should appeal as soon as possible to the dermatologist.


The non-melanoma skin cancer can present two types of diagnosis. Basal cell carcinoma is diagnosed by a lesion (sore or lump) with a slow evolution.

Squamous cell carcinoma also arises through a wound, however, rapidly evolving and is accompanied by itching and discharge. The increased severity of squamous cell carcinoma is due to the possibility that this type of cancer has metastasized.


In both cases, surgery is the best treatment. However, depending on the extent, basal cell carcinoma can also be treated by topical medication or radiation therapy.

In the case of squamous cell carcinoma, the usual treatment is done primarily through surgery and radiotherapy.

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