Health

There Are 7 Body Areas Other Than the Skin Where Skin Cancer May Occur

Skin cancer is a crippling condition brought on by the uncontrollable proliferation of cells. In a process known as metastasis, the dividing cells, particularly malignant ones, can travel to other regions of the body. To scientists, the branched-out cells look the same as those in the skin. However, given that cancer is named based on the place where it starts, benign cells that spread from the skin to the other body parts will be still called skin cancer cells.

 

This leads us to the conclusion that skin cancer is a worldwide problem. According to a study by the MD Anderson Cancer Institute, melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin color, are where melanoma, or skin cancer, cells are born. When they make their way to another body corridor, they’re called noncutaneous tubercles which are not caused by UV shafts emitted by the Sun or heredity, as typically perceived.

The following are the surprise locations where noncutaneous melanomas can develop, according to the study:
 

1. Ocular (eye)

Ocular melanoma is a rare but serious form of cancer that develops in the melanin-producing cells of the eye, including the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. These cells give color to the eye, and when they become cancerous, they can grow and spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver.
 
Unlike skin melanomas, which can often be spotted by changes in the appearance of moles, ocular melanomas are difficult to detect in their early stages. They may not cause any noticeable symptoms until they have grown and spread to other parts of the eye or body. However, some people may experience vision changes, such as blurriness or loss of peripheral vision, as the tumor grows.
 
Risk factors for ocular melanoma include having fair skin and light-colored eyes, being exposed to ultraviolet radiation, and having a family history of the disease. However, many people with ocular melanoma do not have any known risk factors.
 
Diagnosis of ocular melanoma typically involves a comprehensive eye exam, including dilation of the pupils to allow the doctor to examine the back of the eye. If a suspicious mass is detected, additional tests, such as ultrasound, MRI, or biopsy, may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the cancer.
 
Treatment options for ocular melanoma depend on the size and location of the tumor, as well as the overall health of the patient. Options may include radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of both. In some cases, the affected eye may need to be removed to prevent cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
 
Early detection and treatment are critical for improving the prognosis of ocular melanoma. Regular eye exams and awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease can help with early detection and treatment.
 

2. Mucosal (of the mucous membranes)

Mucosal melanoma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that develops in the mucous membranes, which are the soft tissues that line organs and other areas of the body. This type of melanoma can occur in several areas of the body, including the head and neck region, lips and mouth, anorectal region (anus and rectum), and vulvovaginal region (vagina and vulva).
 
Unlike other types of melanoma, which are often caused by exposure to UV radiation, the exact cause of mucosal melanoma is not known. However, certain risk factors have been identified, including age, with most cases occurring in people aged 70 and older, and a family history of the disease.
 
Mucosal melanoma is difficult to diagnose and treat, as it often develops deep within the tissues and can spread quickly to other parts of the body. Symptoms of mucosal melanoma may include bleeding, pain, and changes in bowel or bladder habits, depending on the location of the tumor.
 
Diagnosis of mucosal melanoma typically involves a combination of physical exams, imaging tests, and biopsies. Treatment options for mucosal melanoma may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, depending on the location and stage of the cancer. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be used to improve the chances of successful treatment.
 
While the prognosis for mucosal melanoma is generally poor, early detection and treatment can improve outcomes. Regular screening and awareness of the symptoms of mucosal melanoma are critical for early detection and treatment.
 
It is important to note that mucosal melanoma is a rare form of cancer, and many of the symptoms associated with it are also common to other medical conditions. However, if you are experiencing persistent symptoms that do not improve with treatment, it is important to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.
 

3. Under the fingernails

Gel nails have become a popular trend in recent years, with many people opting for this long-lasting and glossy nail polish option. However, doctors warn that gel nails may have more risks than just aesthetic concerns. Cancerous growths under the fingernails, including melanoma, have been associated with the use of UV devices used to quickly dry the gel nail polish.
 
UV devices used in gel nail application are similar to tanning beds, and exposure to these devices can increase the risk of developing melanoma, a type of skin cancer. According to dermatologists, the hands and nails are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV radiation, and repeated exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer.
 
Symptoms of melanoma under the fingernails may include a dark streak or discoloration on the nail, as well as changes in the shape or texture of the nail. It is important to note that not all cases of melanoma under the nails are caused by gel nail use, and other factors, such as family history and age, may also play a role in the development of this cancer.
 
To reduce the risk of developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer under the nails, it is recommended to limit exposure to UV devices and to use protective gloves or barrier creams when using these devices. Regular skin and nail checks are also important for the early detection and treatment of any abnormal growths or discolorations.
 
In summary, while gel nails may provide a convenient and long-lasting option for nail polish, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with the use of UV devices for quick drying. Protecting the hands and nails from harmful UV radiation, and regular monitoring for any changes or abnormal growths, can help reduce the risk of developing melanoma under the fingernails.
 

4. In the gluteal cleft

While it may seem surprising, the gluteal cleft, or butt crack, is a site where melanoma and other types of skin cancer can develop. In particular, squamous cell carcinoma, a non-lethal form of skin cancer, can form in this area. According to dermatologists, the gluteal cleft is an area that is often overlooked during skin checks, and many people may not be aware of the potential risks associated with this area.
 
Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma in the gluteal cleft may include a sore or lesion that does not heal or a raised bump or growth on the skin. It is important to note that not all cases of skin cancer in this area are caused by sun exposure, and other factors, such as genetics and age, may also play a role.
 
To reduce the risk of developing skin cancer in the gluteal cleft, it is recommended to protect the area from sun exposure, as well as to regularly check the skin for any signs of abnormal growth or discoloration. If any unusual changes are noticed, it is important to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment.
 
In conclusion, while skin cancer in the gluteal cleft may not be a commonly discussed topic, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to protect the skin in this area. Regular skin checks and protection from sun exposure can help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, and for individuals who are impacted, early detection and treatment can improve outcomes.
 

5. On the scalp

The scalp is a common site for melanoma growth, but many people may not be aware of the potential risks associated with this area. One of the main challenges with detecting melanoma on the scalp is that it can be obscured by hair, making it difficult to spot during regular skin checks. In addition, symptoms of melanoma on the scalp, such as itching or burning sensations, can be mistaken for more common conditions like dandruff.
 
It is important to note that not all cases of skin cancer on the scalp are caused by sun exposure, and other factors, such as genetics and age, may also play a role. In addition, certain hairstyles, such as tight braids or weaves, can increase the risk of skin cancer on the scalp by putting pressure on the skin and potentially causing damage.
 
To reduce the risk of developing skin cancer on the scalp, it is recommended to protect the scalp from sun exposure by wearing a hat or using a sunscreen specifically designed for the scalp. Regular skin checks and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities can also help with the early detection and treatment of any potential skin cancer growth on the scalp.
 
In summary, while melanoma growth on the scalp may be a common occurrence, it can be challenging to detect due to hair and other factors. Taking steps to protect the scalp from sun exposure and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities can help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer on the scalp, and early detection and treatment can improve outcomes for those who are affected
 

6. In the ear canal

Melanoma growth in the ear canal can be a serious concern, as it can be difficult to detect and may not present with typical symptoms. One sign of potential melanoma growth in the ear canal is stubborn crustiness that does not go away with repeated scrubbing or washing. This can be a sign of cancerous growth, and it is important to seek medical attention if any unusual changes or symptoms are noticed.
 
It is also important to note that ear canal melanoma may be more common in people who have a history of excessive sun exposure or a family history of skin cancer. Regular skin checks and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities in the ear canal can help with the early detection and treatment of any potential melanoma growth.
 
To reduce the risk of developing skin cancer in the ear canal, it is recommended to protect the ears from sun exposure by wearing a hat or using earplugs with UV protection. It is also important to avoid inserting any objects, such as cotton swabs, into the ear canal, as this can potentially damage the skin and increase the risk of melanoma growth.
 
In conclusion, melanoma growth in the ear canal can be a serious concern, and it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to protect the ears from sun exposure and other potential sources of damage. Regular skin checks and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities can help with the early detection and treatment of any potential melanoma growths, and seeking medical attention if any unusual symptoms are noticed is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.
 

7. Underneath the tongue

Melanoma growth underneath the tongue is a serious concern, and it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with this area. While the area may not be exposed to the sun as much as other areas of the body, it is still possible for melanoma to develop in this location, and it may be a sign of cancer metastasizing from a different site.
 
Dentists often take a closer look at the area underneath the tongue for any suspicious growth during clinic visits, as early detection and treatment can be crucial for improving outcomes for those affected by melanoma growth in this area. It is important to note that not all cases of melanoma growth under the tongue will present with obvious symptoms, and some people may not notice any changes or abnormalities in the area.
 
To reduce the risk of developing melanoma growth under the tongue, it is recommended to avoid smoking or using other tobacco products, as these can increase the risk of cancer in the mouth and throat. Regular dental checkups and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities in the mouth can also help with the early detection and treatment of any potential melanoma growth.
 
In summary, melanoma growth under the tongue can be a serious concern, and early detection and treatment can be crucial for improving outcomes. Regular dental checkups and monitoring for any changes or abnormalities in the mouth can help with early detection and treatment, and avoiding tobacco products can help reduce the risk of developing melanoma growth in this area.

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