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Khloe Kardashian puts skin cancer back in spotlight: Know about the condition

Khloe Kardashian said that she had melanoma removed through surgery after developing skin cancer. Here's what you should know about skin cancer.
skin cancer
Khloe Kardashian post melanoma tumour removal surgery. Image courtesy: The Kardashians trailer
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 1 May 2023, 13:38 pm IST
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International reality television star Khloe Kardashian had a scary brush with skin cancer last year. The 38-year-old had a precancerous melanoma tumour removed from her face in October 2022, and it is back in news thanks to the first official trailer for season 3 of the reality series The Kardashians. In the trailer, she talks about getting the tumour removed and her scar is very much visible. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that over 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer everyday. Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells that mostly develops on skin that has been exposed to the sun. It is crucial that people are aware of the condition in order to get it diagnosed early or prevent it. As it happened, Khloe Kardashian had developed a zit which turned out to be an early sign of skin cancer!

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer develops when skin cells multiply and expand out of control. In this, the normal process of old skin cells dying and being replaced by new skin cells also fails which results in skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer, but in comparison, it is less dangerous because it is easier to treat. However, the degree of risk increases with a delay in diagnosis and treatment. So what specifically causes cancer in our body’s protective layer? Let’s understand this in detail.

HealthShots spoke to Dr Sunny Garg, HOD and Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology, Sanar International Hospitals, Gurugram, to understand all about skin cancer.

Causes of skin cancer

Dr Garg says, “Skin cancer is largely caused due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially when the sun causes sunburn and itchy skin. Hence, populations living in high-altitude areas and spending more time under the sun are considered to be more prone to catching it than others. Apart from that artificial sources of UV rays are also highly responsible for skin cancer. This makes people working in factories or are in jobs where they are in direct exposure to UV rays or toxic chemicals, prone to catch the disease.”

skin cancer
Skin cancer is not uncommon. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Symptoms of skin cancer

The initial symptoms of skin cancer can be apparent and hence it’s comparatively easy to notice and seek medical intervention on time. You may experience:

  • An unidentified spot(s) on the skin
  • A sore or wound which is not healing naturally
  • A growing scar on any part of the skin

According to the type, location, and degree of skin cancer, one may suffer different symptoms as well.

Also read: 5 tips to protect your skin from sunburns in summer

Types of skin cancer

There are 3 major types of skin cancer:

1. Basal cell carcinoma: This type of skin cancer presents in highly sun-exposed areas of the skin like the face, hands, legs, the upper area of feet, etc.

2. Melanoma: It may break out of any mole on the body, and the mole may start appearing differently or spreading. People with dark skin may experience it on palms and feet, and darker or moist areas of the body may develop symptoms like the nose, vaginal area, anus, mouth, etc.

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3. Squamous cell carcinoma: As mentioned, such cancers generally appear in sun-exposed areas, but this type of cancer can appear in any part of the skin; people with darker skin tones are more at risk. It might look like a dried wound or an itchy pattern.

skin cancer
Beware of the symptoms of skin cancer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to prevent skin cancer?

As the major cause of skin cancer is enough to know what preventive measures to be taken:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 50 or more
  • Seek medical advice if you experience any of the above symptoms.

Also read: Save your skin from the sun: 5 reasons why SPF is essential in summer

Treatment of skin cancer

The treatment of skin cancer may vary as per the severity and area of the skin. There is a wide range of treatments that can potentially make you cancer-free like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biological therapy. But talking about the diagnosis, the skin biopsy is essential to confirm the existence of skin cancer, because this is the only way to know whether the prevailing symptoms are leading to skin cancer or not.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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