skın cANcER aESThETıc OPERATIONs
Our skin is our most beautiful dress. Smooth, shiny skin makes people look beautiful. Prolonged and intermittent exposure to sunlight triggers the malignant transformation of the cells that constitutes our skin, resulting in skin cancer. Although they are most common in the head and the neck regions, they can form anywhere in the body. Conditions that pose a risk for skin cancers; light skin, colour eye, high number of nevi and freckles on the skin, family history of skin cancer, albinism, xeroderma pigmentosum, working outdoors exposed to sunshine, living in regions where sun rays fall vertically, prolonged non-healing wound, non-healing wounds on burnt base.
There are 3 main types of skin cancers. These are basal cell cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. They all originate from different cells that constitute the skin and their behaviour patterns are different. The most benign one is basal cell carcinoma, while the one with the worst prognosis is the malignant melanoma.
Skin cancers usually begin as a non-healing wound on the skin. In some cases, nevi which are considered to be the precursors of cancer are observed to turn into cancer. Therefore, one should be careful about nevi, which has recently grown, changed colour, started bleeding, crusted, had pubescence, had irregularity around it and immediately consult a doctor. In some cases, a small biopsy should be performed to determine whether it is benign or malignant.
Lip cancers should also be mentioned in this context. Lower lip cancers are more commonly observed and squamous type is more common. Smoking, use of alcohol and chewing tobacco increase susceptibility to cancer. While it is spread to the lymph nodes in the jaw and the neck in the early period, distant organ involvement such as lung and bones can also be seen. Removal of the tumoral tissue with intact surgical margins and in advanced cases, removal of the lymph nodes in the neck may be required.
As with almost any cancer type, the principle that early diagnosis saves lives also applies to skin cancers. Cancers in the initial stage can be treated through the removal of almost all of the problematic tissue. After the lesion is removed, it is sent to pathological examination for the determination of the type, the depth and the need for an additional treatment.
In some cases, the patient comes, having neglected the skin cancer for years. In this case, cancer may have spread to subcutaneous soft tissues or the bones. It may spread to the internal organs or regional lymph nodes as a result of blood and lymphatic circulation. In such cases, surgically large operations and in some cases additional chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be given.
In cases of advanced age or high surgical risk or in very advanced situations, a surgical intervention may not be preferred and the patient may be treated only with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.