Treatments And Side Effects Of Skin Cancer On Your Body

skin cancer - skincare

In Australia, skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer and accounts for the largest number of cancer cases diagnosed every year. Skin cancer happens when the body cannot repair the damaged DNA of the skin cells, which allows the cells to split and multiply uncontrollably.

Skin DNA gets damaged because of different reasons like lifestyle, genetics, and skin type. However, the most common causes are excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Click here to read more about the effects of UV rays on the skin. Kinds of skin cancers and their effects of the body:

Basal cell carcinoma

BCC starts in the lowest layer of the skin and happens in areas like the neck or face as they are the most exposed to the sun. The signs could be:

  • A shiny or glassy looking bump
  • A light pink or brown flat lesion
  • A bleeding scab
  • A sore that does not heal
  • A wound that keeps coming back

Squamous cell carcinoma:

SCC starts in the top skin layer of sun-exposed areas like face, ears, and hands. In some cases, this cancer also occurs in body parts that are not exposed to the UV rays. The visible signs could be:  

  • A firm scab
  • A red bulging lump
  • A flat and scaly lesion
  • A dried and crusted wound


Melanoma starts from the melanocytes (colour-making cells) of the skin and can occur anywhere on the body. Exposure to UV radiation causes 95% of melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer. In males, melanoma happens on the face or the trunk area, and for women, it occurs in the lower legs. The cancerous scales develop under palms, soles, fingernails, and toenails. Check sun doctor parramatta. These could be the signs be:

  • A developing mole that keeps increasing in size
  • A blemish that keeps changing colours as it keeps getting older
  • A single or multiple red, pink, white, blue or blue-black spots
  • A painful sore that has a burning sensation
  • Large brownish spots with darker outlines


Oncologists base treatment on the following basis

  • Age and overall health of the patient
  • The stage, type, and grade of the cancer

Here are the most popular cancer treatments:

1. Surgery

Surgery is the principal therapy for most skin cancers. The surgical procedure depends on the density and location of cancer. Different types of surgeries involved are excisional surgery, Moh’s surgery, and reconstructive surgery.

Side effects:

Just like any other surgery skin, cancer surgeries are not free from risks and side effects. Surgical complications and post-surgical infections are some major risks.

2. Chemotherapy

This is a popular therapy that uses drugs to fight cancer. Doctors give drugs to the patient either orally or through IV. These strong medicines directly go into the bloodstream. Topical chemotherapy uses medications that are put directly on the wounds.

Side effects:

Chemotherapy is an exhausting treatment that kills both good and bad cells. Hence the side effects involved could be:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sickness
  • Hair fall

3. Radiation treatments

In this treatment, high-energy X-rays kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy only targets the upper layer of the skin, and it does not damage internal organs. Radiation can stop skin cancer from progressing to other parts of the body.

Side effects:

  • Skin changes in the affected area
  • Hair loss where the radiation is given
  • Fatigue

4. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy boosts the immune system to prepare the body to fight cancer. Doctors inject the booster drugs into a vein to reinforce the immunity.

Side effects:

  • Breathlessness
  • Oedema in the legs
  • Congestion
  • Headaches
  • Water retention
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle aches

5. Other local treatments

These treatments treat skin cancer without cutting into the skin. Freezing, curettage, electrodesiccation, light therapy, and lasers are a few of them.