How do you explain skin cancer to a child?

Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skin cells. Common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Skin cancer is not common in children, however, the incidence of melanoma in children is increasing by 2 percent each year.

What is skin cancer in simple words?

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.

How do you explain melanoma to a child?

When a child gets melanoma, sun exposure is usually not the cause. Kids who are born with melanocytic nevi (large black spots) and specific kinds of moles have a risk of melanoma. Sometimes melanoma begins in an area where there is no dark spot or bump. Melanoma happens when melanocytes stop working normally.

What can skin cancer lead to?

People who develop abnormally frequent cases of a skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma appear to be at significantly increased risk for developing of other cancers, including blood, breast, colon and prostate cancers, according to a preliminary study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

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What is another name for skin cancer?

There are three major types of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. The first two skin cancers are grouped together as non-melanoma skin cancers. Other unusual types of skin cancer include Merkel cell tumors and dermatofibrosarcoma protruberans.

When should I worry about a mole on my child?

If a mole bleeds without reason, however, it should be checked. A mole that looks like an open sore is also worrisome. Bleeding or a break in the skin can be a sign of melanoma. Bottom line: If your child has a mole that starts to bleed or looks like an open sore, a dermatologist should examine the mole.

Are black spots on moles normal?

A normal mole is usually an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised. It can be round or oval.

What does it mean if a mole has a black spot?

Melanomas can be tiny black dots that are no bigger than a pen tip. Any new or existing moles that stand out from the rest in color, shape, or size, should be looked at by a physician.

How can you tell if a spot is skin cancer?

Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.

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Where does skin cancer spread to first?

Normally, the first place a melanoma tumor metastasizes to is the lymph nodes, by literally draining melanoma cells into the lymphatic fluid, which carries the melanoma cells through the lymphatic channels to the nearest lymph node basin.

Do you feel ill with skin cancer?

They don’t feel ill. The only difference they notice is the suspicious-looking spot. That spot doesn’t have to itch, bleed, or feel painful. Although, skin cancer sometimes does.

What can be mistaken for skin cancer?

Top 5 Conditions Often Mistaken For Skin Cancer

  • Psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that is believed to be related to an immune system problem, which causes T cells to attack healthy skin cells by accident. …
  • Seborrheic Keratoses (Benign tumour) …
  • Sebaceous hyperplasia. …
  • Nevus (mole) …
  • Cherry angioma.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

What does skin cancer rash look like?

However, a rough, scaly, red patch of skin may appear instead. This can often closely resemble noncancerous or precancerous skin lesions. Unlike skin rashes that resolve over time, rashes that occur due to SCC grow slowly and appear as a bump that does not seem to heal.