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What Happens If Skin Cancer Goes Untreated

You Can Find Skin Cancer On Your Body

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The best way to find skin cancer is to examine yourself. When checking, you want to look at the spots on your skin. And you want to check everywhere from your scalp to the spaces between your toes and the bottoms of your feet.

If possible, having a partner can be helpful. Your partner can examine hard-to-see areas like your scalp and back.

Getting in the habit of checking your skin will help you notice changes. Checking monthly can be beneficial. If you have had skin cancer, your dermatologist can tell you how often you should check your skin.

People of all ages get skin cancer

Checking your skin can help you find skin cancer early when its highly treatable.

What Are Different Types Of Skin Cancer What Are The Risks If They Are Left Untreated


Melanomas are violent and quickly developing kinds of cancer. Its the most probable to develop at high speed and metastasize. Melanoma is formed from the melanocytes, cells that generate the pigment of the skin. Due to this, patients will require to precisely check any prevailing or new development of moles, freckles, or any dark developments on the skin. You must regularly analyze the region for any kind of irregularity, rough margins, unpredictable or uncommon tones, and any regions that are changing drastically. A treatment plan must be customized early. When detected and treated at right time, melanoma has proven to be highly durable, but when untreated, there is a significant drop in durability, specifically if cancer has metastasized. Melanoma can transform to be life-threatening inside six weeks of initial development, hence, early detection and treatment are highly important.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Some squamous cell carcinomas develop steadily, but others can develop at high speed. Smaller squamous cell carcinomas possess a reduced risk of metastasis, but if they are large, are at advanced risk for growing to other regions and even the lymph nodes. In few cases, it can also spread to the ear, lip, and temple, at high speeds. Treatment in earlier stages is highly suggested to avoid cancer from spreading at a rapid pace. Squamous cell carcinomas can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Can Skin Cancer Be Prevented

How Dangerous Is Melanoma

Melanoma is usually curable when detected and treated early. Once melanoma has spread deeper into the skin or other parts of the body, it becomes more difficult to treat and can be deadly.

  • The estimated five-year survival rate for U.S. patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99 percent.
  • An estimated 7,180 people will die of melanoma in the U.S. in 2021.

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Basal Cell And Squamous Cell Survival Rates

Because basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are lower-risk skin cancers, theres little information on survival rates based on stage.

Both types of cancer have a very high cure rate. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for basal cell carcinoma is 100 percent. The five-year survival rate for squamous cell carcinoma is 95 percent.

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What Will Happen If Cancer Cells Are Left Untreated

What Happens To Untreated Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer &  When ...

In the case of malignant cancers:

According to Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg,cancer cells change from being Aerobic to becomeAnaerobic, actually sugar-fueled!

As oxygen can no longer be absorbed through these cells, ourorgans begin to break down and the cancer cells need for sugars,robs our bodies of their nutrients.

As oxygen can no longer be tolerated & becomes a poison tothe cancerous cells, in their drive to survive they enter into theblood stream and travel to other areas of the body & multiplyutilising the old addage of safety in numbers.

They will keep on multiplying until the organs shut down and thepatient dies.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Skin Cancer

About 90% of skin cancers are caused by UV rays, but there are other factors that can determine your risk. Some of these factors are:

  • Your complexion: Fair-skinned people have less melanin in their skin and therefore less protection against the suns damaging UV rays.
  • Number of moles: The risk is greater for people with 50 or more moles.
  • Tanning bed use: People are more likely to develop skin cancer from using tanning beds than developing lung cancer from smoking. Their use causes a 75 percent increase in melanoma risk when indoor tanning beds have been used before age 30.
  • Family history: Having a family member with skin cancer means you are at greater risk. The risk is especially strong if a close relative, such as a parent, sibling, or child, has skin cancer.
  • History of sunburn: People who have had one or more severe, blistering sunburns as a child or teenager have an increased risk for melanoma. Sunburns in adulthood are also a risk factor for melanoma.
  • History of skin cancer: Once youve had one skin cancer, your risks for developing another increases.

Warning: Graphic Image Below

If not treated it may eventually cause dramatic disfigurement yet will very rarely metastasize in even the most neglected cases.

Many years of basal cell carcinoma neglect. Apparently this patient didnt know that cancer was eating away at his face.

Squamous cell carcinoma which will likely metastasize if left untreated begins insidiously, appearing first as a faded pink and very flat patchy area on the skin.

A person can go for years without knowing that this usually slow growing skin cancer is progressing.

Many people even in industrialized nations do not check their skin monthly and never get clinical exams and may even be fully aware of a new lesion yet get so used to it that it never dawns on them that its malignant.

There may be the It cant happen to me mindset, along with those who are afraid of what the doctor might find, and those who avoid doctors because they dont have health insurance or because they are cognitively impaired.

Often, people will notice something growing on their face or scalp but chalk it up to older age or benign damage from the sun.

Its possible to have melanoma for several years without knowing it, because some kinds of melanomas grow rather slowly and spread out laterally before they begin burrowing vertically into deeper layers of skin tissue.

Melanoma on the bottom of a foot.

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What Happens If Skin Cancer Is Untreated

The exact effects of untreated skin cancer can vary from patient to patient. Cancer cells will continue to grow uncontrolled. This will result in existing tumors and lesions increasing in size, as well as the formation of new tumors. As these cancer cells grow, they can cut put pressure on other tissues, cutting off blood flow and eventually causing those tissues or organs to fail.

Depending on the skin cancer type, cancerous skin cells may spread into nearby healthy tissues, including bone and lymph nodes. Sometimes, tumors may break off and move through the blood or lymphatic system to other parts in the body. Cancerous cells can then latch onto organs or tissue far away from where they originated.

Even if skin tumors do not spread to other areas , they can still pose problems. If left not treated, skin tumors can ulcerate and bleed, which can contribute to pain and discomfort and potentially become infected. This can pose further health risks to the patient, family, and caregivers.

Different Kinds Of Skin Cancer

Some Basal Cell Skin Cancers Aggressive

There are many types of skin cancer. Some are very rare. Your doctor can tell you more about the type you have.

The two most common kinds of skin cancers are:

  • Basal cell cancer, which starts in the lowest layer of the skin
  • Squamous cell cancer, which starts in the top layer of the skin

Another kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. These cancers start from the color-making cells of the skin . You can read about melanoma in If You Have Melanoma Skin Cancer.

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Causes Of Skin Cancer

Most skin cancers are caused by skin damage that happens from exposure to the sun. The damage can happen from sun exposure over a long period of time or from a history of getting sunburnt.

People with a history of sunburn or overexposure to the sun in childhood also have a greater risk of developing both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Because people are living longer, they are exposed to more sun over their lifetimes.

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What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of skin cancer. It can develop on parts of the body that get a lot of sun, such as the head, neck, face, hands and arms. Squamous cell carcinoma is not as dangerous as melanoma, but it can spread to other parts of the body if not treated. Every year, some people in Australia die from aggressive SCCs.

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What Happens When A Hernia Goes Untreated

Although anyone of any age can get a hernia, the elderly, smokers, and the obese stand a much higher chance of developing one. Those persons who have already undergone surgery can also be more susceptible to hernias. As for why hernias develop, they may arise because of previous surgery, injury, disease, heavy lifting or pregnancy in most cases, hernias are idiopathic and result from a naturally occurring weak spot in the abdominal wall that a person is born with..

Since anyone can develop a hernia, its important to be properly educated about its symptoms. Although hernias arent lethal or likely to lead to serious harm, that doesnt mean they should be underestimated. They can cause pain and activity limitations. And the reality is that some hernias can lead to serious injury some of them can even lead to death.

It must be stressed that the hernias that ultimately cause severe harm or lead to death do so because they were not treated properly or promptly. In other words, if hernias are managed properly and surgically repaired, life can return to normal and the risks can be minimized.

The bottom line is that an untreated hernia involves more potential risks and can lead to more severe harm than treating oneas the following facts will help illustrate.

Why Early Detection Is So Important

Not Just Skin Deep: Skin Cancer

Early detection is your best line of defense against the risks posed by skin cancer. What you notice as a small growth or area of discoloration could be just the tip of a much more serious problem underneath the skins surface.

Do self-checks monthly and see your dermatologist for a thorough, full-body check once per year. Early detection that leads to early treatment can reduce the need for invasive procedures and will improve your chances for survival.

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Answer: The Brutal Truth

The brutal truth about cancers is they never stop growing. Basal cell carcinomas will destroy anything they touch. I routinely see patients whose basal cell skin cancers were neglected leading to a much larger surgery. You cannot see cancer roots by eye – only with a microscope. What you see by eye is often only the tip of the iceberg. During the Mohs procedure, I track the skin cancer and remove all the roots. Squamous cell carcinomas behave similarly but have the added potential to spread to the lymph nodes. Skin cancer should be treated promptly and accurately, most often this requires Mohs micrographic surgery.

Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To The Bone

You might have any of the following symptoms if your cancer has spread to the bones:

  • pain from breakdown of the bone the pain is continuous and people often describe it as gnawing
  • backache, which gets worse despite resting
  • weaker bones they can break more easily
  • raised blood calcium , which can cause dehydration, confusion, sickness, tummy pain and constipation
  • low levels of blood cells blood cells are made in the bone marrow and can be crowded out by the cancer cells, causing anaemia, increased risk of infection, bruising and bleeding

Cancer in the spinal bones can cause pressure on the spinal cord. If it isn’t treated, it can lead to weakness in your legs, numbness, paralysis and loss of bladder and bowel control . This is called spinal cord compression. It is an emergency so if you have these symptoms, you need to contact your cancer specialist straight away or go to the accident and emergency department.

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What Happens If Squamous Cell Carcinoma Goes Untreated

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Risks Associated With Untreated Melanoma

Introduction to Skin Cancer #3: Overview of Nevi and Melanoma

Melanoma makes up a very small percentage of overall skin cancer cases. However, melanoma is responsible for over half the annual deaths attributed to skin cancer. Dr. Truong says, Melanomas are an aggressive and quickly evolving form of cancer. Its the most likely to grow quickly and metastasize. A treatment plan should be formulated as soon as possible. When caught and treated early, melanoma has a high cure rate, but when treated in later stages, cure rates drop drastically, especially if the cancer has metastasized.

Within six weeks of initial development, melanoma can become life-threatening, therefore, early treatment is extremely important. In order to access treatment in the earliest stages, patients need to know what to look for. Melanoma develops from the melanocytes, cells that create the skins pigment. For this reason, patients will need to carefully note any existing or new moles, freckles, or dark spots on the skin, assessing the area for the ABCDEs: Asymmetry, uneven Border, inconsistent or unusual Color, Diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser, and any areas that are Evolving or changing.

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Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To The Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are part of a system of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluids and fights infection.

The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes is that they feel hard or swollen. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck area can make it hard to swallow.

Cancer cells can also stop lymph fluid from draining away. This might lead to swelling in the neck or face due to fluid buildup in that area. The swelling is called lymphoedema.

Taking Care Of Yourself

After youve been treated for basal cell carcinoma, youll need to take some steps to lower your chance of getting cancer again.

Check your skin. Keep an eye out for new growths. Some signs of cancer include areas of skin that are growing, changing, or bleeding. Check your skin regularly with a hand-held mirror and a full-length mirror so that you can get a good view of all parts of your body.

Avoid too much sun. Stay out of sunlight between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the suns UVB burning rays are strongest.

Use sunscreen. The suns UVA rays are present all day long thats why you need daily sunscreen. Make sure you apply sunscreen with at least a 6% zinc oxide and a sun protection factor of 30 to all parts of the skin that arent covered up with clothes every day. You also need to reapply it every 60 to 80 minutes when outside.

Dress right. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and cover up as much as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.


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How Serious Is My Cancer

If you have skin cancer, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called staging.

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers don’t spread as often as some other types of cancer, so the exact stage might not be too important. Still, your doctor might want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what type of treatment is best for you.

The stage describes the growth or spread of the cancer through the skin. It also tells if the cancer has spread to other parts of your body that are close by or farther away.

Your cancer can be stage 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread beyond the skin. Be sure to ask the doctor about the cancer stage and what it means for you.

Other things can also help you and your doctor decide how to treat your cancer, such as:

  • Where the cancer is on your body
  • How fast the cancer has been growing
  • If the cancer is causing symptoms, such as being painful or itchy
  • If the cancer is in a place that was already treated with radiation
  • If you have a weakened immune system

What Happens To Untreated Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer & When To Go To The Doctor

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Nonmelanoma skin cancers are the typical cancerous growth on the skin among all the skin cancers. It tends to develop in the sun-exposed areas of the body, such as face, chest, shoulder, etc. It usually grows as a single patch or lesion or lump on the skin. Its risk factors involve living in high altitudes, overuse of artificial lights, weak immune system, and many more. It is diagnosed by skin biopsy. It is curable in most cases. But there are equal chances of return of the skin cancers.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer refers to the cancerous growth on the upper layers of the skin . It grows, especially on basal cells and squamous cells. It is more common and less severe than melanoma cancers. It tends to appear more in males than in females. Older adults develop them more commonly. It often grows in sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, hands, shoulders, chest, and back.

Basal Cell Carcinoma it develops as a rodent ulcer in the cells lining under the epidermis. It is the most common type of cancer that develops in the skin. It covers 75% of all skin cancers.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma- it develops in the cells lining above the epidermis. It is the most severe form of nonmelanoma cancer that accounts for 20 % of all cancers. .

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