Warning Signs Of Basal Cell Carcinoma That You Could Mistake As Harmless
Warning sign: A pink or reddish growth that dips in the centerCan be mistaken for: A skin injury or acne scar
A pink or reddish growth that dips in the center
The BCC on this patients cheek could be mistaken for a minor skin injury.
Warning sign: A growth or scaly patch of skin on or near the earCan be mistaken for: Scaly, dry skin, minor injury, or scar
A growth or scaly patch of skin on or near the ear
BCC often develops on or near an ear, and this one could be mistaken for a minor skin injury.
Warning sign: A sore that doesnt heal and may bleed, ooze, or crust overCan be mistaken for: Sore or pimple
A sore that doesnt heal, or heals and returns
This patient mistook the BCC on his nose for a non-healing pimple.
Warning sign: A scaly, slightly raised patch of irritated skin, which could be red, pink, or another colorCan be mistaken for: Dry, irritated skin, especially if its red or pink
A scaly, slightly raised patch of irritated skin
This BCC could be mistaken for a patch of dry, irritated skin.
Warning sign: A round growth that may be pink, red, brown, black, tan, or the same color as your skinCan be mistaken for: A mole, wart, or other harmless growth.
A round growth that may be same color as your skin
Would you recognize this as a skin cancer, or would you dismiss it as a harmless growth on your face?
The 4 Stages Of Melanoma
Two main things determine the stage of melanoma: The thickness or depth of the tumor and how far it has spread when its diagnosed, explains David Polsky, M.D., dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. In stages 0, 1, and 2, the melanoma is limited to the skin. In stage 3, its spread to the lymph nodes, small structures throughout your body that help filter fluids and fight infection. In the most advanced stage, stage 4, melanoma cells have broken away from the original tumor, traveled through the body and formed a new tumor somewhere else.
How To Find Help For Cancer Fatigue
It can be hard to pinpoint the cause of cancer-related fatigue, especially if a combination of factors is working together to cause it. There may not be one simple answer. Keep looking for help, even if initial tests for obvious sources of fatigue are negative.
Keep in mind that conventional oncologists arent usually trained on all the research thats been done on how to manage side effects and help improve quality of life. Their focus is on drugs used to treat cancer. But don’t assume your oncologist is the only one capable of managing your side effects, nor the only one who should be following your progress.
Physicians who work in integrative medicine, functional medicine and naturopathy may be more experienced with how to manage those symptoms using relatively non-toxic approaches. These providers may be more likely to know about and use strategies that show the potential to improve patients quality of life without causing harmful side effects. However, be cautious with any provider who claims their treatments will cure cancer in lieu of conventional therapy.
If youre not getting the help youre looking for, consider seeking a second opinion at an oncology center like CTCA. Cancer centers are more likely to offer resources to explore the multifactorial processes that could be affecting fatigue.
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Common Places For Melanoma To Spread
Melanoma can spread from the original site on your skin and form a tumor in any organ or body tissue, but its most likely to metastasize to the lymph nodes, liver, brain, lungs, and less commonly, the bones. Melanoma really likes the brain and the liver, says Lisa Zaba, M.D., dermatologic oncologist at Stanford Medical Center in San Jose, CA. If you notice any of the following red flags, it might mean your melanoma has spread and warrants a call to your doctor right away.
How Do People Find Bcc On Their Skin
Many people find it when they notice a spot, lump, or scaly patch on their skin that is growing or feels different from the rest of their skin. If you notice any spot on your skin that is growing, bleeding, or changing in any way, see a board-certified dermatologist. These doctors have the most training and experience in diagnosing skin cancer.
To find skin cancer early, dermatologists recommend that everyone check their own skin with a skin self-exam. This is especially important for people who have a higher risk of developing BCC. Youll find out what can increase your risk of getting this skin cancer at, Basal cell carcinoma: Who gets and causes.
Images used with permission of:
The American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 80:303-17.
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What Is Cancer Fatigue
Fatigue is often confused with tiredness. Tiredness happens to everyone its a feeling you expect after certain activities or at the end of the day. Usually, you know why you are tired and a good nights sleep solves the problem.
Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer and its treatment. It is not predictable by tumor type, treatment, or stage of illness. Usually, it comes on suddenly, does not result from activity or exertion, and is not relieved by rest or sleep. It is often described as paralyzing and may continue even after treatment is complete.
What Is Skin Cancer
Cancer can start any place in the body. Skin cancer starts when cells in the skin grow out of control.
Skin cancer cells can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, but this is not common. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis. To doctors, the cancer cells in the new place look just like the ones from the skin.
Cancer is always named based on the place where it starts. So if skin cancer spreads to another part of the body, its still called skin cancer.
Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is
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Feeling Full Really Quickly
Ovarian cancer can be tough to catch in its early stages. One possible symptom might be early satiety, Bonta said. That’s when you feel full after eating only small amounts of food.
The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has a complete list of possible signs and symptoms women should know about.
And it’s related to other symptoms such as …
See A Suspicious Spot See A Dermatologist
If you find a spot on your skin that could be skin cancer, its time to see a dermatologist. Found early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Often a dermatologist can treat an early skin cancer by removing the cancer and a bit of normal-looking skin.
Given time to grow, treatment for skin cancer becomes more difficult.
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How Does The Doctor Know I Have Skin Cancer
Basal and squamous skin cancer may look like:
- Flat, firm, pale or yellow areas that look a lot like a scar
- Raised reddish patches that might itch
- Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
- Small, pink or red, shiny, pearly bumps, which might have blue, brown, or black areas
- Pink growths or lumps with raised edges and a lower center
- Open sores that dont heal, or that heal and then come back
- Wart-like growths
Dizziness When You Change Position
You might feel dizzy if you sit or stand up suddenly. This is more common if you are 65 or older, but it can happen at any age. If you already feel dizzy from cancer or its treatment, changing positions quickly can make the dizziness worse.You can be at risk of falling if you are dizzy at any age. But older adults are more likely to have a serious injury if they fall.
It Is Not Clear How Cancer Treatments Cause Fatigue
It is unclear how cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy cause fatigue.
When cancer treatment begins, many patients are already tired from medical tests, surgery, and the emotional stress of coping with the cancer diagnosis. Fatigue may get worse during treatment.
Different cancer treatments have different effects on a patient’s energy level. The type and schedule of treatments can affect the amount of fatigue caused by cancer treatment. Some patients have more fatigue after cancer treatments than others do.
Fatigue related to surgery
Fatigue is often a side effect of surgery, but patients usually feel better with time. However, fatigue related to surgery can be worse when the surgery is combined with other cancer treatments.
Fatigue caused by chemotherapy
Patients treated with chemotherapy usually feel the most fatigue in the days right after each treatment. Then the fatigue decreases until the next treatment. Some studies have shown that patients have the most severe fatigue about mid-way through all the cycles of chemotherapy. Fatigue decreases after chemotherapy is finished, but patients may not feel back to normal until a month or more after the last treatment.
Fatigue during chemotherapy may be increased by the following:
- Lack of sleep caused by some anticancer drugs.
Fatigue caused by radiation therapy
Fatigue caused by hormone therapy
Fatigue caused by immunotherapy
Genetic Mutations In People With High Numbers Of Skin Cancers
To do the study, the researchers looked at 61 people who were treated at Stanford Hospital and Clinics for a higher-than-average number of basal cell carcinomas: an average of 11 diagnoses per person during a 10-year period:
- about 75% of the people in the study were men
- the average age was about 69
- about 97% of the people were of European descent
The researchers collected saliva samples from each person in the study and performed genetic testing to look for mutations in 29 genes that help repair DNA damage. Mutations in these genes are linked to many other types of cancer.
The researchers found that 19.7% of the people in the study had mutations in 12 DNA repair genes, including:
In comparison, about 3% of people in the average population have mutations in those genes.
We found that about 20 percent of the people with frequent basal cell carcinomas have a mutation in one of the genes responsible for repairing DNA damage, versus about 3 percent of the general population. Thats shockingly high, said Kavita Sarin, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford and senior author of the study.
Mutations in the BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, CHEK2, MSH6, NBN, and PALB2 genes are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
When looking at the cancer history of the people in the study, the researchers found that 34.4% had a personal history of another cancer besides basal cell carcinoma, including:
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General Health And Wellness
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States effecting one in eight women. Millions of women are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment. Here are 14 Early Warning Cancer Symptoms That Often Get Ignored.
Sudden Changes In Skin
If you have a mole that is rapidly changing shape, color or size, call a dermatologist immediately.
Frequent Infections And Lengthy Fevers
If you have a fever that just wont go away, and theres no other justifiable cause, it may mean youre suffering from a blood-related cancer like leukemia.
Lumps Under Your Arms, On Your Neck Or Groin & Swollen Lymph Nodes
Sudden, drastic changes in your lymphatic system can definitely be a sign of lymphoma and other cancers.
Stubborn Back Pain
Long-lasting backaches are a clear sign of bone, liver breast and a variety of other dangerous cancers. If you have any pain thats lasted over a month, reach out to your doctor immediately.
Sudden Changes In Your Nails
Color or form changes in your nails such as clubbing is a big indicator or lung cancer. Although theyre hard to notice, its important to pay attention to and record any changes over a short period of time.
Chronic Cough, Shortness Of Breath & Wheezing
Small white spots inside your mouth or on your lips are both signs of oral cancer. This is especially true with those who smoke cigarettes!
Sore, Swollen or Red Breasts
Where Does Bcc Develop
As the above pictures show, this skin cancer tends to develop on skin that has had lots of sun exposure, such as the face or ears. Its also common on the bald scalp and hands. Other common areas for BCC include, the shoulders, back, arms, and legs.
While rare, BCC can also form on parts of the body that get little or no sun exposure, such as the genitals.
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How Can Fatigue Be Managed
Some people say that fatigue is the most difficult side effect of cancer and it can be distressing. To help manage your fatigue talk to your GP, specialist doctor or nurse about how you are feeling and how long you have been experiencing fatigue. Some ways to manage fatigue include regular exercise, setting up a bedtime routine to help you relax, eating well and avoiding smoking and alcohol.
A Physical Exam And Health History Will Be Taken To Look For Causes Of Fatigue That Can Be Treated
A physical exam will be done. This is an exam of the body to check general signs of health or anything that seems unusual. The doctor will check for problems such as trouble breathing or loss of muscle strength. Your walking, posture, and joint movements will be checked.
- Complete blood count with differential: A procedure in which a sample of blood is taken and checked for the following:
- The number of red blood cells and platelets.
- The number and type of white blood cells.
- The amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.
- The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.
The healthcare team will take a health history by asking about the status of your cancer and cancer treatments. It is important that you and your family tell the healthcare team if fatigue is a problem. You will be asked to describe the fatigue.
Other questions that you will be asked about include:
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How We Treat Cancer At Ctca
We only treat cancer at CTCA. Our team of multidisciplinary cancer experts takes a personalized, patient-centered approach to treating cancer and its side effects.
In addition to using conventional cancer treatments to attack the cancer itself, we provide evidence-informed supportive care therapies to help patients tolerate treatment and reduce side effects, including:
- Nutritional support, which includes the option of meeting with a registered dietitian wholl develop a personalized plan for your nutritional needs
- Behavioral health care, which may include working with therapists to help with depression, anxiety and stress, and using techniques such as talk therapy, mindfulness and relaxation techniques
- Access to professionally led support groups for patients and their loved ones, both in-person and online, including our Cancer Fighters community, where you can connect with cancer survivors
- Naturopathic support, which includes consultations with our naturopathic providers who counsel patients on the use of natural, non-toxic techniques to support the healing process
Providers at CTCA work together under one roof, providing convenient access for patients.
If youd like to get a second opinion or talk to someone at CTCA about getting help for fatigue or other cancer-related side effects youre experiencing, or chat online with a member of our team.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
An evidence-based approach to basal cell cancer
Basal cell cancer is relatively common. Patients often first present to the primary care provider with complaints of an abnormal skin lesion. When diagnosed early, it has an excellent prognosis, but if there is a delay in diagnosis, the tumor can advance and lead to significant morbidity. Basal cell cancer is best managed by an interprofessional team that includes a dermatologist, mohs surgeon, plastic surgeon, nurse practitioner, primary care provider, and a dermatopathologist. Basal cell carcinomas typically have a slow growth rate and tend to be locally invasive. Tumors around the nose and eye can lead to vision loss. In most cases, surgical excision is curative. However, because recurrences can occur, these patients need long-term follow up.
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How Cancer Treatment Causes Fatigue
When you start a new treatment, the body produces cytokines to help boost the immune response. When cells die, the body works to clean up those dying cells, causing inflammation. Its a desirable response in this case, but inflammationboth acute and chronicalso causes fatigue.
You can compare this fatigue to how you feel when your body fights the flu or another infection, like COVID-19. While your bodys working hard to fight the infection, you feel tired.
How and when you experience fatigue from cancer treatment may vary according to the treatment youre receiving and its side effects.