Most skin cancers are a locally damaging malignant form of tumours which originate in the epidermis cells of the skin. Tumour matures in an uncontrolled manner, thereby impacting the functions of the skin. Skin cancer treatment in India can be availed at an affordable cost.
If the cancer is left untreated, it can invade other parts of the body too. Skin cancers are common among older individuals on parts of the body which were exposed to the sun or the ones with weaker immune systems.
- 1 Skin Cancer and its Types
- 2 Skin Cancer Symptoms
- 3 Skin Cancer Diagnosis
- 4 Skin Cancer Treatment in India
- 5 Skin Cancer Cost in India
- 6 Best Oncologists and Hospitals for Skin Cancer in India
- 7 Why should you consider India for treatment?
- 8 FAQ’s
Skin Cancer and its Types
The various forms of skin cancer are as follows:
- Melanoma: Skin cancer that originates in melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) is called melanoma. Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: A skin tumour that develops in the lower part of the epidermis is called basal cell carcinoma.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Cancer that originates in squamous cells, flat cells that form the surface of the skin, is called squamous cell carcinoma.
Other skin cancers that seldom occur are Merkel cell cancers, lymphomas and cancers of other tissue in the skin. Other than this, sarcomas, hair and sweat gland tumours are few other types.
Skin Cancer Symptoms
Some common symptoms of skin cancer are as follows:
- The symptom of Basal Cell Carcinoma involves formation of small lumps which become red or pink, waxy or shiny.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma often appears as a small pink lump with a hard or scaly or crusty skin.
- The indication of Melanoma is dark spotting or moles.
Other potential skin cancer contributors that may show signs of skin cancer include spotting, patching, or lumping that is increasing in size, becomes itchy, changes shape doesn’t heal in four weeks span, changes its colour or is inflamed.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis
If skin cancer is diagnosed timely, 95 percent of them can be successfully treated. Some of the tests and screenings an individual exhibiting symptoms of skin cancer should undergo are as follows:
- Mole Mapping: Digital photographs or body diagrams are made so that the growth of moles can be evaluated.
- Dermoscopy: This technique uses a hand-held instrument which is known as a Dermoscope, and the procedure is termed as dermoscopy. This technique holds potential in lighting up and magnifying a lesion so that the diagnosis can be made.
- Biopsy: A skin tissue is scraped off and then sent to a pathologist for examination. If the cancer is deeply infused in the skin, then a patient is made to undergo a sentinel lymph node biopsy.
- Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM): Very similar to an ultrasound, this scanning approach with the help of laser light gives a clear picture of the tissue.
- Scans: X-rays, CT scans, PET
- Blood tests
Skin Cancer Treatment in India
The type of treatment one undergoes, depends on the type and site of cancer, patient’s age, and whether the cancer is in its initial stage or a relapse. The treatment involves undergoing surgery or therapy. At times therapy is given alongside surgery.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery – The success rate of undergoing this surgery is the highest because the cancer is delineated under the microscope before it is removed. This surgery is used for treating primary basal cell carcinomas, tumors of the size more than 2 cm, tumors exhibiting histopathologic characteristics and tumours originating in regions such as the eyelid, genitalia, nose and finger.
- Simple excision with frozen or permanent sectioning – This conventional surgery is dependent on surgical margins ranging from 3 to 10 mm, depending on the diameter of the tumor.
- Electrocautery and Curettage – This surgery is extensively done for removing primary basal cell carcinomas. Electrocautery holds potential in demolishing the tumor in a shorter span.
- Cryosurgery – This procedure is performed for treating small, clinically well-defined initial-stage tumors.
- Radiation Therapy – This therapy treats primary lesions alongside surgery.
- Chemotherapy – Hyperthermia isolated limb perfusion (HILP) is a chemotherapy technique to tackle a malignant form of melanoma. Treats tumors in an arm or leg that have the tendency to relapse but are restricted to that area.
- Carbon Dioxide Laser – This approach is used for treating a superficial type of basal cell carcinoma.
- Topical Fluorouracil (5-FU) – This procedure works only in a few patients who have superficial basal cell carcinomas.
- Systemic Retinoids – Though various clinical trials have proved the efficiency of systemic retinoids in both chemotherapy and chemoprevention, the long-term toxicity of these agents for many patients is not much promising.
- Photodynamic Therapy – This therapy which uses photosensitizers potentially targets epithelial skin tumors.
Skin Cancer Cost in India
Skin cancer treatment is economical in India when compared to other countries. The cost of undergoing surgery for treating skin cancer starts from USD 1250 and may go up to USD 54000. However, some larger lesions may require reconstruction, the cost of which would go up to USD 55000. Radiation therapy costs near about USD 5000, and the cost of chemotherapy per cycle is USD 500. The cost of photodynamic therapy is approximately USD 1500.
Best Oncologists and Hospitals for Skin Cancer in India
The best oncologists and the hospitals for skin cancer are as follows:
- Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai- Dr Suresh Advani
- Medanta- The Medicity, Gurugram- Dr Ashok Kumar Vaid
- Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, New Delhi- Dr D. C. Doval
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram- Dr Vinod Raina
- Fortis Hospital, Noida- Dr Gurdeep S Sethi
- Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai- Dr Mandar Nandkarni
- Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai- Dr Rajesh Mistry
- Dharamshila Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Delhi- Dr Anshuman Kumar
- BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Kapil Kumar
- BLK Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi- Dr Sandeep Mehta
- Dharamshila Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Delhi- Dr B N Naik
- Apollo Gleneagles Cancer Hospital, Kolkata- Dr Shaikat Gupta
Why should you consider India for treatment?
India is home to proficient skin cancer oncologists who are practising in various reputed hospitals. There are various healthcare platforms like MedMonks which help patients in availing an affordable treatment in India. They have tie-ups with leading hospitals in India, which help in formulating the most suitable combination of treatment for skin cancer. Such healthcare platforms help patients in scheduling appointment with the best doctor and provide 24*7 counselling regarding treatment queries.
Indian oncologists are dedicated to delivering top-notch personalised care to patients who suffer from skin disorders. The treatment dispensed via Indian healthcare facilities are not only limited to conducting surgeries or therapies but also initiate pain-reliving programs for patients and provide palliative care so that the patients feel better.
The healthcare facilities in India that offer skin cancer treatment are equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, upgraded equipment, and extremely niched health care team. The survival rates of skin cancer are comparatively higher in India.
When does a mole increase risk of skin cancer?
Moles may sometimes prove to be malignant and may result in skin cancer which is known as melanoma. Dysplastic nevus, is a precancerous stage, is a condition which is the driving force of melanoma.
An early symptom of melanoma is significant variations in the characteristics of mole such as changes in colour, asymmetry, irregular border, increasing diameter of a mole.
How is skin cancer caused?
Some of the factors associated with causing skin cancer are as follows:
- Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, from direct sunray, sunlamps or sunbeds
- Fairer skin that easily burns
- Skin inundated with more than 50 moles
- History of skin cancer
- Family members being diagnosed with skin cancer and undergoing anti-rejection drugs post an organ transplant.
- Exposure to radiation or prolonged exposure to chemicals such as coal tar, soot, pitch, asphalt, creosote, paraffin wax or arsenic.
How is the staging of skin cancer done?
Stage 0 – Tumour is confined to the uppermost layer of the skin.
Stage 1 – Tumour has expanded to 2cm or less across but still, hasn’t spread.
Stage 2 – The size exceeds 2 cm and is yet not widespread.
Stage 3 – Cancer invades the underlying skin tissues and spreads to the adjacent lymph nodes.
Stage 4 – The cancer is too rampant; invading other parts of the body too.