ABOUT SKIN CANCER

Skin cancer is one of the common diseases found in United States. One in five Americans have been diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. The skin cancer count is increasing each year as the doctors are detecting new cases. The skin being the largest organ in the body helps in regulating the body temperature and keeps the body protected from infection and injury. Skin cancer is usually the result of overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. Men are more likely to develop skin cancer when compared to woman. One can have a self-diagnosis of the skin by their doctor to detect any abnormal changes in the skin.

The pigment structure of the skin changes when one is affected by skin cancer. Each time your skin is exposed to the UV rays there is a change in the structure and function of the skin cells. There are three major types of cancers: Basal cell carcinoma(BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. The first two skin cancers are grouped together and named as non-melanoma skin cancers. 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer cases are directly related to one's exposure. Most of them have been affected by BCC. The cancer recovery is easier when detected in the early stages. Melanoma is an aggressive cancer that spreads to other parts of body and is highly fatal.

All skin types will be affected by cancer but the severity varies as per the skin tone. Skin that is very fair & pale in color is highly sensitive and is at greatest risk of being affected by cancer. Fair and white skins tan minimally; they have high skin cancer risk. Skin with light and moderate brown colors are also at risk of skin cancer. Very dark brown skin has minimal sensitivity and rarely burns. The skin cancer can be sometimes detected in the later stages in this skin type.

Some instructions you need to follow to avoid skin cancer is to protect your skin and stay away from using tanning beds to avoid using artificial tanning devices. Use sun glasses, long sleeves and pants that can help to protect your skin. Use sun screen every day with Sun Protection Factor SPF 30. The lip balms and sunscreen will absorb the rays. Reapply them after every two hours.

Skin cancer is on the rise and many young ones are being diagnosed with this. Many do not have awareness as how they can avoid it. Yearly consult with a skin specialist who will clinically examine your skin. Protecting children from UV exposure is essential for maintaining healthy skin in adulthood.

 

Early Detection

With early detection of the initial signs of Skin Cancer and proper treatment, the cure rate for BCC and SCC is > 90%. When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. Regular skin exams help people find early skin cancers.

One type of cancer on skin exam is the skin self-exam. During a self-exam, people examine their own skin for signs or change. If a growth, mole, sore, or skin discoloration appears suddenly, or begins to change, see a plastic surgeon ASAP.

People who spend time in the sun, have a family history of skin cancer (especially melanoma), have many moles or an atypical mole, or have other risk factors for skin cancer should see a plastic surgeon for regular skin exams. Your doctor will tell you more about skin cancer and recommend the frequency that is best for each patient.