Skin Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Precautions, and Treatments in India's Top Hospitals

Skin cancer is a prevalent and potentially life-threatening medical condition characterized by the abnormal growth of skin cells. It can occur anywhere on the skin, but it is most commonly found in areas exposed to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Skin cancer can affect people of all ages, and its incidence has been on the rise in recent years.

Introduction to Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a prevalent and potentially life-threatening medical condition characterized by the abnormal growth of skin cells. It is a formidable adversary, affecting millions of individuals worldwide, with its incidence steadily rising in recent years. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of skin cancer, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, precautions, and the treatments available in India's top hospitals.

Skin cancer, like other forms of cancer, begins when the body's cells undergo mutations, causing them to divide uncontrollably and form malignant tumors. While skin cancer is most commonly found on the skin's surface, it can also develop within the deeper layers of the skin.

Causes of Skin Cancer

UV Radiation Exposure:

Prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the leading cause of skin cancer. UV rays damage the DNA in skin cells, increasing the risk of cancerous growths.

Skin Type:

Individuals with fair skin, light hair, and light eyes are more susceptible to skin cancer due to less natural protection against UV radiation.

Family History:

A family history of skin cancer can increase the risk of developing the condition.

Moles and Precancerous Skin Lesions:

Having a large number of moles or precancerous skin lesions can raise the risk of developing skin cancer.

Weakened Immune System:

Conditions or treatments that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or organ transplants, can increase susceptibility to skin cancer.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

The symptoms of skin cancer can vary, but common signs include:

- Unusual Skin Growth: The development of a new, irregularly shaped, or changing mole or lesion.

- Changes in Existing Moles: Any changes in the size, color, shape, or texture of existing moles.

- Sore that Doesn't Heal: A sore that does not heal within a few weeks.

- Redness or Itchiness: Persistent redness, itchiness, or tenderness on the skin.

- Bleeding or Oozing: Skin lesions that bleed or ooze.

Diagnosis for Skin Cancer

To diagnose skin cancer, a dermatologist or oncologist may perform the following:

1.Physical Examination: The doctor will examine the skin and any suspicious moles or lesions.

2.Biopsy: A small sample of the suspicious area may be removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

3.Imaging Tests: In some cases, imaging tests like CT scans or MRI scans may be ordered to determine the extent of the cancer.

Precautions for Skin Cancer

Preventing skin cancer involves taking proactive measures to minimize UV exposure:

- Sunscreen: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply it every two hours when outdoors.

- Protective Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses to shield your skin and eyes from the sun.

- Seek Shade: Stay in the shade during peak sunlight hours, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

- Avoid Tanning Beds: Tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation and should be avoided.

Treatments Available in India's Top Hospitals


Surgical excision is often the primary treatment for skin cancer. It involves removing the cancerous tissue along with a margin of healthy skin.

Radiation Therapy:

High-energy X-rays are used to target and kill cancer cells. It is often used when surgery is not possible.


Systemic chemotherapy may be recommended for advanced cases of skin cancer.


This treatment boosts the body's immune system to fight cancer cells.

Targeted Therapy:

Targeted drugs are designed to specifically attack cancer cells.

Mohs Surgery:

A specialized technique that removes skin cancer layer by layer to minimize damage to healthy tissue.


Freezing the cancerous cells using liquid nitrogen.


In conclusion, skin cancer is a serious condition that requires early detection and appropriate treatment. India's top hospitals offer a range of advanced treatments, and taking precautions to protect your skin from UV radiation is essential in reducing your risk. Regular checkups and awareness of the signs and symptoms can go a long way in preventing and managing skin cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, especially when detected and treated early. The prognosis depends on the type and stage of skin cancer.

Yes, anyone can develop skin cancer, but those with risk factors like UV exposure or family history are more susceptible.

Melanoma is a more aggressive form of skin cancer that originates in melanocytes, while non-melanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) develop from other skin cells.

It's advisable to have a skin checkup annually, and more frequently if you have risk factors or notice any suspicious changes in your skin.

Yes, if left untreated, skin cancer can spread (metastasize) to other organs. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent this.

Skin cancer may or may not be painful. Pain is not always a symptom, so it's crucial to watch for other signs.

Genetics can play a role in skin cancer, with some families having a higher predisposition to the condition.

While genetics can increase your risk, preventive measures like sun protection can significantly reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancer rates may vary, but it is prevalent across India due to widespread sun exposure.

Yes, although rare, children can develop skin cancer. Sun protection is vital for all age groups.

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