Home - Procedures - Reconstructive Surgery - Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer. It is estimated that over 1 million new cases occur annually. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern. It has also been estimated that nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once. The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth or a sore that will not heal.

The term "skin cancer" refers to three different conditions. From the least to the most dangerous, they are:
The two most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Together, these two are also referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is generally the most serious form of skin cancer because it tends to spread (metastasize) throughout the body quickly. Skin cancer is also known as skin neoplasia.

Risk factors include:
  • Exposure to sun. There is evidence that, in contrast to squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma is promoted not by accumulated sun exposure but by intermittent sun exposure like that received during vacations, especially early in life. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. The risk of developing skin cancer is also affected by where a person lives. People who live in areas that receive high levels of UV radiation from the sun are more likely to develop skin cancer. Worldwide, the highest rates of skin cancer are found in South Africa and Australia, which are areas that receive high amounts of UV radiation.
  • Age. Most skin cancers appear after age 50, but the sun's damaging effects begin at an early age. Therefore, protection should start in childhood in order to prevent skin cancer later in life.
  •  Exposure to ultraviolet radiation in tanning booths (Solarium). Tanning booths are very popular, especially among adolescents, and they even let people who live in cold climates radiate their skin year-round.
  •  Therapeutic radiation, such as that given for treating other forms of cancer.

Created by fosetico. Powered by CloudCMS®.