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Skin Cancer - General Understanding
Skin cancer, one of the most common types of cancer, is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells on the skin. These growths are known as tumors. The affected skin appears to change in color and texture, and sores may develop. These skin changes can usually be seen by the naked eye. Ninety percent of skin cancers can be cured with early detection; if left untreated, however, they can spread and lead to serious and even life-threatening forms of cancer.
This website will help you to understand the facts about skin cancer. It will explain what causes it, how to treat it, and what you can do to avoid it. It will help you learn to recognize the characteristics of potentially cancerous skin growths. Since most skin cancers are highly treatable when detected early, it is important for you to understand the warning signs. If you have further questions regarding this disease, be sure to consult your doctor.
What are the different types of skin cancer?
There are three common types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually occurs in people who nrP middle-npri nr nld r and have fair Skin.
Basal cell carcinoma most often appears on the face, head, and neck. The growths develop slowly in the form of painless lumps or small smooth-edged ulcers.
Squamous cell carcinoma can appear any-where on the body but is most commonly found as a small skin abnormality on the lip or mouth. The growths are usually painless but may bleed.
Melanoma is rarer than the other two types of skin cancer but can be more serious. Melanoma often spreads and causes cancerous tumors in other parts of the body. It most often appears on exposed parts of the skin but can develop anywhere on the body. Melanoma usually develops from an existing mole. It occurs slightly more often in males and is more prevalent among people with fair skin.
What causes skin cancer?
The most common cause of skin cancer is exposure to the sun. Sunlight contains ultraviolet rays, which can cause cancer if your skin is overexposed. People who work outdoors are especially at risk.
Other factors besides the sun can contribute to skin cancer:
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
Most skin cancers appear on the face or neck-but they can occur anywhere on the body. The symptoms may include:
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
The first thing a doctor will do is look at your skin. He or she will then examine your medical history and determine if the affected area of skin has changed. If there is a growth, a biopsy can be done. A biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small piece of the tissue is removed and analyzed to determine if it is cancerous.
Treatment involves the removal of growths by one of the following procedures, which, in almost all cases, are performed painless topical anaesthesia:
What are the long term effects?
If skin cancer is left untreated, it can spread to internal organs and result in more serious forms of cancer. Once you have had skin cancer, you are more likely to develop it again. It may reappear in the same location or develop some-where else on your body. People who have had skin cancer are encouraged to have an exam every 6 months and to see a doctor immediately if they notice any new changes on their skin.
Skin cancer and sun exposure
Since direct exposure to sunlight is the main cause of most skin cancers, people who spend a lot of time outdoors, either working or playing, are at the highest risk. Intense sun exposure in childhood is also a major factor contributing to skin cancer in later life. You should take extra precautions to protect children from sun expo-sure before they go outdoors.
Proper use of sunscreen and protective clothing is the best defense against the damaging rays of the sun. Here are some tips on sun protection: