Why does your skin may develop cancer?

Did you know, your skin is the largest organ of your body? It regulates body temperature and protects the body against infection and injury. It produces vitamin D and also stores water and fat. Skin cancer begins when some skin cells mutate their DNA. These abnormal changes tell the cells to grow and divide rapidly, forming a tumor. A tumor can either be cancerous or benign, says Dr. Soumen Das, the best oncologist in Kolkata. A benign tumor can grow but will not spread, however, a cancerous tumor can enlarge and spread to other parts of the body.


Types of Skin Cancer

There are 4 main types of skin cancer-

Basal cell carcinoma:– The round cells found in the lower epidermis are called Basal cells. Dr. Das, a skin cancer doctor in Kolkata says that Basal cell carcinoma is the commonest histological type and may be caused due to climate changes, exposure to UVB and high levels of arsenic in drinking water. This type of cancer mainly develops on the head and neck, however, it can be found anywhere on the skin. It is mainly caused by long exposure to the sun or may occur in people who received radiation therapy as children. It grows slowly and is rare for this type of skin cancer to spread to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinoma:– Epidermis – the first layer of skin – is made up of flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. 20% of skin cancers are likely to develop from these cells. These are called squamous cell carcinomas. This type of cancer is mainly caused by sun exposure, so it may occur in many regions of the skin. It can also develop on burnt skin, damaged by chemicals, or exposed to x-rays. It is commonly found on the lips; region of a long-standing scar; skin outside the mouth, anus, and a woman’s vagina.

Merkel cell cancer:– This type of cancer is rare and highly aggressive. It originates in cells that produce hormones just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles. This cancer can also be called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.

Melanoma:– The region where the epidermis and dermis meet, scattered cells are present called melanocytes. These are the cells that produce melanin – the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanoma cancer originates in melanocytes, and it is the most serious type of skin cancer.


Skin cancer symptoms may vary according to the type of cancer, says Dr. Soumen, best skin cancer doctor in Kolkata. If you feel that you may be developing skin cancer, visit the best skin cancer doctor.Your treatment option will depend on the type, depth, size and location of cancer. It is best to get it checked by an experienced doctor as soon as possible. You may not require surgery if the cancer is small and limited to the surface of your skin; the entire cancer growth can be removed by skin biopsy. There are also other treatment options like –

  • Excisional surgery
  • Mohs surgery
  • Cryotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Biological therapy
  • Laser and light-based treatment