Malignant Skin Tumours

Overview of Malignant Skin Tumours

Malignant skin cancers develop by the uncontrolled growth of skin cells. These cancers are also known as malignant melanomas that are fatal if left untreated.

Malignant skin cancers develop by the uncontrolled growth of skin cells. These cancers are also known as malignant melanomas (سیاہ رسولی). Malignant skin cancers are fatal and spread to other parts of the body. Malignant melanomas are mostly developed on the parts of skin that are exposed to sunlight. Risks of skin cancers can be reduced by avoiding UV (ultraviolet radiation) exposure. Detection of skin cancers at early stages allows the successful treatment of these cancers.

Occurrence of Malignant Skin Cancer

Malignant skin cancers are the most common type of cancer around the world. They account for 90% of cases of cancers. The incidence rate of Malignant skin carcinoma is reported as  2.8–3.1 per 100,000. These skin cancers are most common in fair skin people as compared to dark skin.


Signs and Symptoms of Malignant Skin Tumours

Malignant melanomas can develop on any site of the body. Sometimes, existing moles can change into malignant skin cancers.

Common signs and symptoms of skin melanomas are:


  • A mole that changes in colour, size or that bleeds
  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, pink, white, blue or blue-black
  • Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus
  • A painful and itchy lesion that burns

Types of Malignant Skin Tumours



Causes of Malignant Skin Tumours

The most frequent cause of skin cancers is UV light exposure. Some other important factors responsible for skin cancer are:

  • Exposure to unusually high levels of radiation, such as from X-rays
  • Use of tanning booths
  • Immunosuppression, or impairment of the immune system
  • Contact with certain chemicals, such as arsenic (miners, sheep shearers, and farmers) and hydrocarbons in tar, oils, and soot (which may cause squamous cell carcinoma)

Risk Factors of Malignant Skin Tumours

Some common factors that increase the chances of developing skin cancers are:

  • Fair Skin:  Fair skin people are at higher risk as compared to dark skin. This is because in light skin people melanin pigment is in small amounts that provide less protection from UV radiation.
  • Moles: People who have many or bigger moles mostly develop malignant skin cancers. Usually, irregular and larger moles are changed into cancer. Therefore, regular inspection of moles is necessary for people who have a history of moles.
  • Precancerous Skin Lesions: Skin lesions such as actinic keratoses can increase your chances of developing skin cancer. These lesions mostly appear on the face, head and hands-on sun-damaged skin.
  • Family History: Your risk of developing skin cancer is increased if your parents or siblings have a skin cancer history.
  • Weakened Immune System: People with weak immune systems mostly develop skin cancers. These peoples include AIDS patients or those having immunosuppressants.
  • Exposure to Radiation: If you have received radiation therapy for skin conditions such as eczema or acne your chances of developing malignant skin cancer are increased.
  • Exposure to Certain Substances: Exposure to certain chemicals such as arsenic make you more prone to malignant skin cancers.

Skin Cancer Health Complications

The most common complications associated with skin cancer are related to cancer itself or the surgery performed to remove it. These include:


  • Recurrence: where the cancer comes back
  • Local Recurrence: where cancer cells spread to surrounding tissues
  • Metastasis: Cancer cells spread to other tissues, muscles, nerves, and even organs.



Skin cancers can be prevented by the following tips:


  • Avoid exposure to sunlight during the middle of the day
  • Check your skin regularly and report changes to your doctor
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Be aware of sun-sensitizing medications
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Avoid tanning beds


Malignant skin cancers can be diagnosed by:


  • Skin Examination: Your doctor will physically examine your skin to look for signs of skin cancer. Further testing will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Skin BiopsyThis test determines the presence and type of cancer. In this test, suspicious-looking skin is removed for lab testing.


Treatment of Malignant Skin Tumours | When to Consult a Doctor

Malignant skin cancers can be treated by the following approaches:

  • Mohs Surgery: During this procedure, the surgeon removes the affected skin layer by layer. Each layer is studied under a microscope until no abnormal cells remain. This procedure is used to remove hard-treat cancers. 
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high energy beams such as X-rays to kill the cancer cells. This procedure is used if cancer is not removable by surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: In chemotherapy, cancer cells are killed by drugs. For surface layer cancers, anti-cancer creams or lotions are directly applied to the skin. Systemic chemotherapy is used to treat malignant skin cancers.
  • Photodynamic Therapy: In this method, laser light and drugs are used in combination to remove cancer cells.  
  • Biological Therapy: In biological therapy, cancer cells are removed by using the immune system. 

It is important to treat skin tumours at the early stages because if the infection spreads, it can cause other skin problems. Seek medical care and consult an Oncologist if you have symptoms of malignant skin cancer.