Skin Cancer

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Introduction

Skin cancer is a common and locally destructive cancerous growth of the skin. It originates from the cells which line up along the membrane which separate the superficial layer of the skin from the deeper layers. Unlike the cutaneous malignant melanoma, the vast majority of these sorts of skin cancers have a limited potential to metastasize and become life threatening.

Over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in over 3.3 million people, every year in the US. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the prostate, breast, lung and colon. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime. Get the skin cancer treatment in India and Contact Top Oncologist in India on our website.

Types of Skin Cancer

  • Actinic Keratoses (AK): The dry, scaly patches or spots are precancerous growths. People with fair skin get AKs and most of them after 40 years of age. This is because the AKs tend to develop after years of sun exposure. Usually, they form on the skin which gets lots of sun exposure such as the head, hands, neck and forearms. Treatment is important since an AK progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): The most common type of skin cancer that develops frequently in people with fair skin yet can also occur in people with dark skin. It looks like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin which develop after years of frequent sun-exposure or indoor tanning. They are more common on the head, neck, arms and can form anywhere on the body including the abdomen, chest and legs. Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC is vital as it can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the bones and nerves therefore cause damage and disfigurement.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): It is the second most common type of skin cancer which is most likely to develop in people with light skin, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people. Often it looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch or a sore which heals and then re-opens. It tends to form on skin which gets frequent sun exposure such as the rim of the face, ear, neck, chest, back and arms. It can also grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement. Early diagnosis and treatment prevent this and stop it from metastasizing.
  • Melanoma: It is the deadliest form of skin cancer which frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin. Early diagnosis and treatments are important. Knowing the warning signs of melanoma can help you find an early melanoma.

Risk Factors

Most common risk factors for skin cancer are:

  • Sun burns early in life and exposure to sunlight, especially UV-B rays from tanning beds
  • A chronically suppressed immune system from underlying diseases such as HIV/AIDS infection or cancer or some medications such as chemotherapy or prednisone
  • Patients with previously diagnosed melanoma are at increased risk, around 5-10% will develop a second primary
  • Exposure to ionizing radiation (X-rays) or chemicals that are known to predispose to cancer such as arsenic.
  • Genetics may play a role- patients with at least one affected first degree relative possess a higher likelihood to develop malignant melanoma.
  • Certain types of sexually acquired wart virus infections
  • Elderly patients have more skin cancers


Symptoms

Most BCC have few if any symptoms while SCC may be painful. Both forms of skin cancer may appear as a sore which oozes, bleeds, crusts or otherwise will not heal. They start as a slowly growing bump on the skin which may bleed after minor trauma. Both skin cancer types may have raised edges and a central ulceration.

  • Symptoms of BCC include:
    • Pink skin growths or lesions with raised borders which are crusted in the center
    • Appearance of a shiny pink, pearly, red or translucent bump
    • A white, yellow or waxy area with a poorly defined border which may resemble a scar
    • Raised reddish patch of skin which may crust or itch but usually it is not painful
  • Symptoms of SCC include:
    • Open sore which does not go away for weeks
    • Persistent, scaly red patches with irregular borders which may easily bleed
    • A wart-like growth
    • A raised growth with a rough surface which is indented in the middle

Diagnosis

As per the Amercian Cancer Society, ABCDEs serve a simple guideline of early melanoma warning signs. It should be suspected in any skin lesion with is Asymmetric, has an irregular Border, which is variegated or dark in Color, has a larger than 6mm in Diameter or that is Elevated.

A skin examination by a dermatologist is the best way to get a definitive diagnosis of skin cancer. In most cases, the appearance alone is sufficient to make the diagnosis. Usually a skin biopsy is used to confirm a suspicion of the skin cancer. This is done by numbing the area under the tumor with a local anesthetic such as lidocaine and a small portion of the tumor is sliced away and sent for examination by a pathologist, who will look at the tissue under a microscope to render a diagnosis based on its characteristics. Get in touch with us to get Affordable Skin cancer Surgery in India at the Best hospital for skin cancer surgery in India.

Staging

The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and if it has spread. This will help the doctor to decide which treatment you need. Your doctor will carry out a number of tests to stage your cancer. Most BCC don’t need staging since it’s very rare for them to spread. They will be stages only if they are large. Staging is more likely for SCC as they can spread, although it is still rare. Doctors can use the TNM (Tumor, Node, Metastases) system to stage your cancer.

  • Stage 0: Also called Bowen’s disease or carcinoma in situ. The cells have started to turn into cancer but not yet spread or grown into surrounding areas of the skin. If not treated, Bowen’s disease might develop into SCC. Hence, your doctor may describe this stage as pre cancerous or pre malignant.
  • Stage 1: The cancer is 2cm across or less and has 1 or no high risk features. The high risk features mean the cancer is more than 2mm thick, has grown in the lower dermis, into the space around a nerve, started on the ear or lip and looks very abnormal under the microscope.
  • Stage 2: The cancer is more than 2cm across or has two or more high risk features.
  • Stage 3: The cancer has either grown into the bones in the face such as the bone around the eye, the jaw bone or spread to a nearby lymph node on the same side of the body which is less than 3cm.
  • Stage 4: The cancer has either grown into the ribs, spine, or lower part of the skull or grown to a lymph node which is more than 3cm or to an internal organ such as the lungs.

Conditions

Skin cancer will be treated by a dermatologist. You may also see an oncologist or a cancer specialist. If you have surgical removal of a tumor, depending on how much skin is removed you may see a plastic or a reconstructive surgeon after the tumour removal help to restore the appearance of the skin on the face. Fill up our free consultation form to know about the Skin cancer surgery cost in Mumbai and the Best cancer surgeons in Mumbai.

There are several Types of skin cancer Treatment in India. The choice of therapy depends on the size and location of the tumor, the microscopic characteristics of the cancer and the general health of the patient. Know the Budget price for skin cancer surgery in Delhi and get appointment at the Skin specialist Hospital in Delhi by contacting us.

Topical medications: In case of superficial BCCs, some gels, creams and solutions can be used which works by stimulating the body’s immune system, causing it to produce interferon which attacks the cancer and fluorouracil (5-FU), a chemotherapy drug.

Some patients do not experience any side effects but others may have inflammation, redness, and irritation. A drawback is that there is no tissue left to examine if a tumor has been removed completely.

Destruction by electrodessication and curettage (EDC): The tumor area is numbed with a local anesthetic and repeatedly scraped with a sharp instrument, curette and the edge is then cauterized with an electric needle. Advantage is that it is easy, fast and relatively inexpensive. Disadvantages are that the scar is somewhat unsightly and the recurrence rate is as high as 15%.

Surgical excision: The area around the tumor is numbed with a local anesthetic. A football-shaped portion of the tissue including the tumor is removed and then the wound edges are closed with sutures. Skin grafts or flaps are needed to close the defect for the very big tumors. Advantages are that there is a greater than 90% cure rate; the surgical specimen can be examined to ensure that the whole tumor has been removed successfully and the scar produced is often more cosmetically acceptable than that of the EDC procedure. This is a more complicated and expensive procedure than an EDC.

Mohs micrographic surgery: The site is locally anesthetized and the surgeon removes the visible tumor with a small margin of the normal tissue. This will be immediately evaluated under a microscope and areas which demonstrate residual microscope tumor involvement which are re-excised and the margins are re-examined. This cycle will continue until no further tumor is seen. It is a more complicated and expensive option for treating tumors where normal tissue preservation is vital, where the tumor margins are poorly defined and in tumors which have been treated previously and have recurred and in certain high-risk tumors.

Radiation Therapy: About ten to fifteen treatment sessions will deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor and a small surrounding skin area. It is useful for those who are not candidates for any surgical procedure. Advantage is that there is no cutting involved. Disadvantage of this expensive alternative is that the treated area cannot be tested to ensure that the whole tumor is gone and the radiation scars may look worse over time. Hence it is usually reserved for the elderly patients.

Other types of skin cancer treatments include photodynamic therapy (PDT) in which medication and blue light is used to destroy the cancerous tissue, cryosurgery where the tissue is destroyed by freezing, laser surgery to vaporize or ablate the skin’s top layer and destroy lesions and oral medications. Contact us to get your appointment with the Best Skin Cancer Surgeon in Bangalore.


Follow-up Care

It is vital to check your skin and know how to protect it in the sun. Contact your GP or specialist, if you spot any signs of another skin cancer between checkups. Send us your query to get Low Cost Skin Cancer Treatment in India at the cheapest hospitals for skin cancer Treatment in India.

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