What Are The Most Common Thyroid Problems
The thyroid gland is a very important body organ. Through the production and secretion of the two thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine , it is responsible for multiple body functions.
Unfortunately, the thyroid gland is often affected by hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism the two most common thyroid problems.
As a result of the low production of the thyroid hormones, a condition known as hypothyroidism develops. It characterizes itself with symptoms such as cold intolerance, fatigue, weight gain, depression, constipation, muscle, and joint aches, etc.
On the other hand, as a result of too much thyroid hormones being produced, a condition known as hyperthyroidism develops. Some of the most characteristic hyperthyroidism symptoms include an enlarged thyroid gland, hyperactivity, diarrhea, mood changes, sensitivity to heat, etc.
Who Gets Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women other than skin cancer. Increasing age is the most common risk factor for developing breast cancer, with 66% of breast cancer patients being diagnosed after the age of 55.
In the US, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, and it’s the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54. Only 5 to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are “sporadic, meaning there is no definitive gene mutation.
A Patchy Red Rash That Can Turn Scaly: Lymphoma
Mycosis fungoides is a common rash in patients diagnosed with lymphoma.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system the network of tissues and organs in our body that work to rid us of toxins.
It can be particularly dangerous because the cancerous cells can travel through the body in the bloodstream.
The cancer cells can then grow in several places at once, affecting multiple parts of the body.
A person with lymphoma may develop mycosis fungoides, a rash that is caused when the blood travels to the upper layer of the skin.
In its early stages it may appear as a patchy red rash but as it progresses it tends to become scaly.
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What Will Happen After Treatment
Youll be glad when treatment is over. Your doctor will want you to check your skin at least once a month. It will be very important to protect yourself from getting too much sun.
For years after treatment ends, you will see your skin cancer doctor. At first, your visits may be every few months. Then, the longer youre cancer-free, the less often the visits are needed. Be sure to go to all of these follow-up visits. Your doctor will ask about symptoms and check you for signs of the cancer coming back or a new skin cancer. Other exams and tests may also be done.
Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. You might be thinking about how to improve your health. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or talk to your cancer care team to find out what you can do to feel better.
You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life making healthy choices and feeling as good as you can.
Tests For Skin Metastases
A member of your treatment team will examine you and look at your skin. Theyll also discuss any other symptoms you have.
To confirm a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer in the skin, you may have a punch biopsy. Youll be given a local anaesthetic before a tiny cutter device is used to take a very small piece of tissue from the area. Its not unusual for the area to bleed a little after the biopsy so youll usually be given a small dressing or plaster afterwards.
You may also have a CT scan, also known as a CAT scan, to check for any other areas of spread. This type of scan uses x-rays to take a series of detailed pictures of the body. Its painless but during the CT scan you have to lie still for around half an hour. Sometimes you will have dye injected into a vein, usually in your arm, before you have the scan so that different areas can be seen more clearly.
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Should You Get Skin Tags Removed
Skin tags rarely pose a health concern, but you may choose to get skin tags removed for cosmetic reasons.
Discomfort and irritation are among the most common reasons for skin tag removal. However, skin tags are rarely painful unless theyre constantly rubbing against the folds of your skin.
Your doctor may also want to remove a skin growth if they suspect that its instead a skin cancer.
Skin tags usually dont fall off on their own. The only way to completely remove skin tags is via professional procedures done by a dermatologist. Options for removal include:
- Surgery. Your doctor cuts off the skin tag with surgical scissors.
- Cryosurgery. This is a less invasive form of surgery. The skin tag is frozen with liquid nitrogen and then falls off the body within 2 weeks.
- Electrosurgery. Heat produced by an electrical current is used to remove the skin tag.
Over-the-counter products and home remedies may be other options if you want to try something less invasive, but there isnt evidence to suggest theyre better than traditional means.
Talk to your doctor about the following before trying them:
- TagBand, a device that may be purchased at a drugstore for skin tag removal
Reducing The Risk Of Breast Cancer Including Pagets Disease Of The Nipple
Modifying certain lifestyle factors, such as reducing the amount of alcohol you drink and making sure you exercise regularly, may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.
In some areas, women aged 47 to 49 and 71 to 73 are also invited for screening as part of a study looking at whether the age range for breast screening should be extended.
Page last reviewed: 22 October 2019 Next review due: 22 October 2022
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Liver Bile Duct Pancreatic And Gallbladder Cancers
Any cancer that interferes with the bile ducts can lead to obstruction and the consequent build-up of bile salts in the skin. With pancreatic cancer specifically, this is most common with cancers located in the head of the pancreas. Other symptoms may include jaundice, abdominal pain, ascites , and abdominal pain.
Dark Lines On The Fingernails Or Toenails
The appearance of a dark area under a fingernail or toenail that appears without an obvious injury should always be investigated. Melanoma of the nail bed often presents when a pigmented streak of the nail involves the cuticle . These cancers are most common on the thumb and big toe but may occur on any nail.
While subungual melanomas are uncommon in whites, accounting for only around 1% of melanomas, they are the most common form of melanoma found in dark-skinned individuals.
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What Are The Symptoms
Inflammatory breast cancer can present in a number of ways. The symptoms are persistent and tend to develop relatively quickly . Heres what to watch for:
- Skin inflammation The skin of the breast can become warm and puffy and look like the peel of an orange .
- Nipple changes The nipple can become flat or inverted.
- Swelling One breast can significantly increase in size.
- Discoloration The skin of the breast can become very red or almost purple.
- Pain The breast can become tender.
How Is Familial Melanoma Susceptibility Inherited
Normally, every cell has 2 copies of each gene: 1 inherited from the mother and 1 inherited from the father. Familial melanoma susceptibility follows an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern, in which case a mutation happens in only 1 copy of the gene. This means that a parent with a gene mutation may pass along a copy of their normal gene or a copy of the gene with the mutation. Therefore, a child who has a parent with a mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting that mutation. A brother, sister, or parent of a person who has a mutation also has a 50% chance of having the same mutation. However, if the parents test negative for the mutation , the risk to the siblings significantly decreases but does not go back to population risk their risk may still be higher than an average risk.
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Skin Cancer Vs Breast Cancer
Skin cancer on breasts is possible, but that does not automatically mean the patient has breast cancer. There are many factors that separate skin cancer vs. breast cancer. Skin cancer develops in the topmost layers of the epidermis, caused by abnormal skin cell production. This is often triggered by excessive environmental stimuli that the skin tries to counteract overexposure to sunlight is the most common culprit of skin cancer. While the three types of skin cancer often start near the surface of the skin, they can penetrate deeper if left undetected, potentially spreading to surrounding tissue.
Breast cancer, on the other hand, always starts with tumors growing deep in the breast tissue. Hormonal and genetic factors contribute to breast cancer development, though the exact cause is unknown. While the most common early symptom of breast cancer is finding a hard lump in the breast, breast cancer can potentially have some effects on the surrounding skin, including:
- Dimpling of the breast skin
- Peeling or crusting around the areola or nipple
- Redness of the breast skin
While none of these symptoms constitute a breast cancer lesion on skin, its important to note that any significant changes to your skin should be treated with caution. Drastic physical changes can signal internal issues, and should be addressed by a physician as soon as possible.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of skin cancer mentioned above, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. A dermatologist can examine your skin and determine if a biopsy is needed. This is true no matter your skin color.
Skin cancer can more difficult to see or may look different on darker skin, and even healthcare providers can overlook melanomas in people of color. If you are concerned, but do not feel that your concern is being addressed, be your own advocate and continue to ask questions or get a second opinion.
Skin Cancer Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctor’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
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How To Distinguish Ibc From Other More Common Conditions
It can be hard to distinguish breast changes caused by inflammatory breast cancer from other common conditions, such as an ordinary rash, allergic reaction, or infection. Thats why its important to see a health care provider as soon as you notice any of these changes to figure out the cause and get treatment, if necessary.
Cancers Linked To Radiation Treatment
Lung cancer: The risk of lung cancer is higher in women who had radiation therapy after a mastectomy as part of their treatment. The risk is even higher in women who smoke. The risk does not seem to be increased in women who have radiation therapy to the breast after a lumpectomy.
Sarcoma: Radiation therapy to the breast also increases the risk of sarcomas of blood vessels , bone , and other connective tissues in areas that were treated. Overall, this risk is low.
Certain blood cancers: Breast radiation is linked to a higher risk of leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome . Overall, though, this risk is low.
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Targeted Drugs And Hormone Therapy
Some types of targeted cancer drugs and hormone therapy cause skin rashes.
Targeted cancer drugs called EGFR inhibitors are most likely to cause skin reactions such as a rash and itching. These include erlotinib and cetuximab.
If you have a severe rash, you may need treatment with steroid creams or tablets, or antibiotic creams or tablets.
Noncancerous Causes Of Skin Rash
While some cancers can lead to a skin rash, rashes can also be caused by a variety of other much less dangerous sources.
Most rashes are commonly harmless and unlikely to cause permanent damage. If you notice an unexplained rash suddenly appearing on your skin, visit a health care provider for advice and treatment.
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What Are Skin Metastases
Skin metastases are secondary breast cancers that form on or just below the skin.
Secondary breast cancer happens when cancer cells spread from the breast to other parts of the body. Sometimes breast cancer cells can spread to the skin. This can happen through the blood or lymphatic system.
The most common sites affected are the areas near where the original breast cancer was for example the skin of the chest wall or around the surgical scar. Less commonly, skin metastases can occur on other areas of skin, such as on the scalp, neck, abdomen, back and upper limbs.
About a fifth of people with secondary breast cancer will develop skin metastases.
This is not the same as having cancer that starts in the skin. The cells that have spread to the skin are breast cancer cells.
Its also different to local recurrence, which is when primary breast cancer has come back in the chest or breast area, or in the skin near the original site or scar.
What To Look For
Any new spots that appear on the skin could potentially be skin cancer, considering that one in five people will develop at least one skin cancer in their lifetime. Definitively distinguishing the different types of skin cancer requires a biopsy and microscopic evaluation, but the general appearance of these tumors also differs to some degree.
- Basal cell carcinomas are often shiny and have been described as “pearlescent.” They may be flat, raised, or dome-shaped, and are often pink, pale, or flesh-colored. On careful inspection, tiny blood vessels may be visible when compared with the surrounding skin. Basal cell cancer characteristically is very often ulcerated and has been called a rodent ulcer because it looks like a mouse has gnawed it.
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- Squamous cell carcinomas are often raised and feel crusty to touch. They can appear scaly and may be ulceratedthat is, have a central depression that is lighter and flatter than the surrounding area. These cancers sometimes bleed, ooze, or form scabs.
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
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Questions To Ask The Health Care Team
If you are concerned about your risk of cancer, talk with your health care team. It can be helpful to bring someone along to your appointments to take notes. Consider asking your health care team the following questions:
What is my risk of melanoma?
What can I do to reduce my risk of cancer?
What are my options for cancer screening?
If you are concerned about your family history and think that you or other family members may have familial melanoma, consider asking the following questions:
Does my family history increase my risk of melanoma?
Does it suggest the need for a cancer risk assessment for me and my family?
Will you refer me and my family to a genetic counselor or other genetics specialist?
Should my family or I consider genetic testing?
What preventive measures do you recommend for me and my family?
What Are The Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.
- A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.
- A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.
- A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the look or feel of the skin on the breast or nipple .
- Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.
- An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
- A marble-like hardened area under the skin.
These changes may be found when performing monthly breast self-exams. By performing breast self-exams, you can become familiar with the normal monthly changes in your breasts.
Breast self-examination should be performed at the same time each month, three to five days after your menstrual period ends. If you have stopped menstruating, perform the exam on the same day of each month.
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What Symptoms Of Breast Rash Are Cause For Concern
Whenever breast rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as infection, fever, a lump underneath the skin, swelling of the throat, or failure to get better after a reasonable period of treatment, a doctor should be consulted. It can be difficult to self-diagnose the cause of a breast rash, and in some cases a delay in treatment can be the difference between a successful outcome and a more serious health condition.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/19/2018.