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Skin Cancer – Forms Causes and Awareness

Posted by Oze Parrot on 8th April 2007

A Skin cancer generally develops in the skin’s outer layer, making any abnormal swelling or discolored patch readily visible. Skin Cancer therefore, can almost always be detected and dealt with in the early stages of development.

Basal Cell CarcinomaThe most prevalent Form of Skin Cancer is Basal Cell Carcinoma which, if allowed to develop can be quite disfiguring, however it is not contagious and will not infect other body areas. BCC is mostly attributed to excessive exposure to direct sunlight, particularly during our childhood and adolescent years. The once popular method of gaining an indoor body tan by using an ultra violet lamp can also cause Skin Cancer.

People with fair skin are particularly prone to Skin Cancer, as are people who work out doors, and those who live within the tropics, the area of the world that has the most daylight hours. Persons that have been exposed to insecticide sprays or weed killers containing the metallic element arsenic, are also at risk of developing Skin Cancer.

About thirty percent of Skin Cancer outbreaks occur in areas of the body that have little or no exposure to direct sunlight, which indicates that persons with a family history of Skin Cancer are at risk of developing Skin Cancer whether or not they have been over exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

The early treatment of any Form of Skin Cancer is advisable, if an outbreak is left untreated, it will continue to destroy surrounding skin tissue and cause irreparable damage that could ultimately result in death.

Squamous Cell CarcinomaAny sore or lesion that refuses to heal should be regarded with suspicion and brought to the attention of your medical practitioner. Irritable skin patches that are of a reddish brown color, a dominant colored pimple that continues to grow without any sign of discomfort should also be regarded with suspicion along with any abnormal growths or the appearance of patches of scarred looking tissue.

United States authorities expect that almost a million new cases of BCC will be reported this year alone.

Squamous cell carcinoma is a less common form of skin cancer, with about a quarter million new cases being recorded in the US during the past year. Although SCCs only account for about a quarter of non malignant carcinomas, they can pose a much more serious threat if left untreated, as they have the ability to spread to other parts of the body including the ears, lips, mouth, esophagus, prostate, and cervix. Early detection and treatment is essential in order to avoid serious disfigurement and possible loss of life.

Melanoma MalignumThe least common Form of Skin Cancer is melanoma, with about 100,000 incidents expected to be recorded this year in the US. This type of cancer is very aggressive and must be treated in it’s early stages, otherwise it can spread rapidly to other parts of the body, become difficult to treat and result in the patient’s death.

*At present, an estimated 10,850 people will die of skin cancer this year, 8,110 from melanoma and 2,740 from other skin cancers such as BCC and SCC.

*Source: American Cancer Society’s 2007 Facts & Figures.

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