Is Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer A Progressive Disease & Alternative Treatments For It?

Nonmelanoma skin cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells on the skin, mainly in the sun-exposed areas. It usually develops as a lesion or lump or patch on the skin that is persistent for more than four weeks in the same area. In some cases, it may damage the neighboring structures. It affects males more than females who work in midday during the peak exposure of the sun.

Is Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer A Progressive Disease?

Is Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer A Progressive Disease?

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is a common type of skin cancer that appears on the sun-exposed parts of the skin. It develops in the upper layers of the skin. However, this cancerous growth is not a progressive disease. (2) However, it can damage the parts on which it grows. (3) It is of two main types-

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma- it develops as an abnormal lump or patch on the skin that does not disappear within a few weeks. It appears on the sun-exposed areas such as scalp, face, etc. It rarely spread to distant parts of the body. (3)
  2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma- it appears in the form of scales or crusts or lumps on the face, usually on or around the lips or ears. It grows so extensively that it may erode and ultimately damage the nose or ear. It is also metastatic that can spread to distant parts of the body. (3)

Alternative Treatments For Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer?

Nonmelanoma skin cancer cannot be treated alternatively. It requires traditional surgery to get rid of it in most of the cases. However, the treatment of skin cancers depends on the type of cancer, stage of the disease, and general health of the patient. (1) The treatment options of nonmelanoma cancer involve-

Cryotherapy– it is a therapy that utilizes liquid nitrogen to freeze the cancerous growth. It is usually used in the early stages of skin cancer. Freezing causes the scabbing of the lump resulting in falling off in a few days. (1)

Chemotherapy– medicines are given intravenously to stop the growth of the cancerous cells. (1)

Radiotherapy- in this therapy, low doses of radiation are given to the tumors to destroy them. It is often given after surgery to prevent the return of cancer. (1)

Surgery- surgical excision of the cancerous growth from the skin is the best way to treat skin cancer. (1)

Anti-Cancer Creams- chemotherapy creams and immune-stimulating creams are applied on the affected skin for a few weeks. It is recommended for the tumors that grow on the top layer of the skin.

Photodynamic Therapy- in this therapy, an intense light is focused on the affected area after the application of a cream to kill the cancerous growth. (1)

Electrochemotherapy- is used when radiotherapy and chemotherapy fail to bring relief to the patients. This procedure includes the intravenous or direct introduction of medicine into the tumor, followed by a supply of short but powerful electric pulses into cancer with the help of electrodes. (1)

Nonmelanoma cancer creates the feeling of worry, depression, and stress in the mind when you try to cope up with it. There are some ways to cope with this cancer discussed below-

  • Be socially interactive with others
  • Join a cancer group and share your conditions with others
  • Consume a healthy diet that mainly comprises of protein
  • Drink lots of water, fruit juices, and other liquids to keep your skin hydrated
  • Perform regular exercises
  • Have proper rest
  • Have a regular discussion with your physicians over the treatment side effects
  • Consume medicines as directed. (2)

Conclusion

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is not a progressive disease. But its type squamous cell carcinoma may spread to the distant organs in the body. There is no specific alternative treatment for the disease. Sun protection, healthy diet, rehydration, regular exercise, and others mentioned above may help in early recovery during treatment.

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