Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than any other cancers combined. The National Cancer Institute found out that there are approximately 1 out of 50 men and women who will be diagnosed with Melanoma during their lifetime. However, it doesn’t develop right away.  

In ManilaMed Health Line’s episode entitled “Different Types Of Skin Cancer Prevalent in The Philippines,” Dr. Eileen Abesamis-Cubillan tackled the causes and treatment for the disease. She mentioned three types of skin cancer that affect Filipinos: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma.

Melanoma is the third most common skin cancer. It is considered the most deadly and can spread to a person’s lymph nodes and organs. BCC and SCC are usually found on the superficial layer of the skin and rarely spreads or metastasizes unless left untreated for a long period of time.  

Dr. Cubillan of ManilaMed, mentioned the common causes of skin cancers. She mentioned sun exposure, heredity, and toxic exposures as the common causes.

“Well, for Basal Cell, Squamous Cell, and Melanoma ang common causes would be sun exposure, although marami din namang nakikita din sa hindi exposed sa sun. Yung mga tagong areas ng katawan. Syempre meron din talagang genetically predisposed to have cancers. Meron ding cause nun is because of mga toxic substances. let’s say like chemicals, kagaya ng arsenic and actually meron yung isang pag-aaral na nakitang merong arsenic poisoning or keratosis na nag-cacause ng cancer na galing sa tubig, yung sa poso.”

In terms of prevention, you can protect yourself from skin cancers by wearing hats, using umbrellas and sunscreen outdoors, and proper hygiene. Sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher should be applied every 2 hours when under extreme sun exposure.

Skin cancer is treatable. According to Dr. Cubillan, Skin cancer is best treated during its early stages. It that case, all that has to be done is to remove the cancerous portion of the skin. However, once the cancer has spread to other organs, chemotherapy is unarranged and the patient’s chances for survival go downhill.

If you’re anxious to know about the status of your health, ManilaMed has a Cancer Care Center that focuses on the diagnosis, treatments, and well-being of the patients.

Have yourself and your loved ones checked. Visit ManilaMed for a consultation. Visit website or call (02) 523-8131 loc 2647 for more information.