What Causes Skin Cancer
The main cause of all types of skin cancer is overexposure to UV radiation. Over 95% of skin cancers are caused by UV exposure. When unprotected skin is exposed to UV radiation, the structure and behaviour of the cells can change.
UV radiation is produced by the sun, but it can also come from artificial sources, such as the lights used in solariums . Solariums are now banned in Australia for commercial use because research shows that people who use solariums have a high risk of developing skin cancer.
Most parts of Australia have high levels of UV radiation all year round. UV radiation cannot be seen or felt and it is not related to temperature. It can cause:
Find out how to protect yourself from the sun and prevent skin cancer from occurring.
What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer
Symptoms of skin cancer can be easily confused and are often overlooked if you have a history of noncancerous moles, freckles, or growths.
However, any change on your skin could be a potential cancer. Knowing the additional symptoms of skin cancer will help you know whether youre in the clear or need to book an appointment with your doctor.
Skin Cancer: Facts Statistics And You
Skin cancer refers to any cancer that begins in your skin. It may develop on any part of your skin and can spread to nearby tissues and organs if the disease advances.
There are two main types of skin cancer:
- Keratinocyte cancer develops in skin cells called keratinocytes. It has two main subtypes, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma .
- Melanoma develops in skin melanocyte cells. Melanocytes are skin cells that generate skins brown pigment.
Other types of skin cancer include:
- Merkel cell carcinoma
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More people receive skin cancer diagnoses each year in the United States than all other cancers combined, including breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer.
Each case of skin cancer is considered unique if a doctor believes its a separate cancer. A person may have multiple different types and cases of skin cancer.
Each year, more than 3 million Americans are affected by BCC or SCC, estimates the American Academy of Dermatology. Having one skin cancer diagnosis puts you at a higher risk for having another, too, but there are preventive measures you can take.
Here are the main types of skin cancer:
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How The Government Of Canada Protects You
The Public Health Agency of Canada monitors cancer in Canada. PHAC identifies trends and risk factors for cancer, develops programs to reduce cancer risks, and researches to evaluate risks from the environment and human behaviours. Health Canada also promotes public awareness about sun safety and the harmful effects of UV rays.
After Skin Cancer Treatment
Most skin cancer is cured surgically in the dermatologist’s office. Of skin cancers that do recur, most do so within three years. Therefore, follow up with your dermatologist as recommended. Make an appointment immediately if you suspect a problem.
If you have advanced malignant melanoma, your oncologist may want to see you every few months. These visits may include total body skin exams, regional lymph node checks, and periodic chest X-rays and body scans. Over time, the intervals between follow-up appointments will increase. Eventually these checks may be done only once a year.
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Prognosis For Skin Cancer
It is not possible for a doctor to predict the exact course of a disease. However, your doctor may give you the likely outcome of the disease. If detected early, most skin cancers are successfully treated.
Most non-melanoma skin cancers do not pose a serious risk to your health but a cancer diagnosis can be a shock. If you want to talk to someone see your doctor. You can also call Cancer Council 13 11 20.
Where Do Skin Cancers Start
Most skin cancers start in the top layer of skin, called the epidermis. There are 3 main types of cells in this layer:
- Squamous cells: These are flat cells in the upper part of the epidermis, which are constantly shed as new ones form. When these cells grow out of control, they can develop into squamous cell skin cancer .
- Basal cells: These cells are in the lower part of the epidermis, called the basal cell layer. These cells constantly divide to form new cells to replace the squamous cells that wear off the skins surface. As these cells move up in the epidermis, they get flatter, eventually becoming squamous cells. Skin cancers that start in the basal cell layer are called basal cell skin cancers or basal cell carcinomas.
- Melanocytes: These cells make the brown pigment called melanin, which gives the skin its tan or brown color. Melanin acts as the bodys natural sunscreen, protecting the deeper layers of the skin from some of the harmful effects of the sun. Melanoma skin cancer starts in these cells.
The epidermis is separated from the deeper layers of skin by the basement membrane. When a skin cancer becomes more advanced, it generally grows through this barrier and into the deeper layers.
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Medical Treatment For Skin Cancer
Surgical removal is the mainstay of skin cancer treatment for both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. For more information, see Surgery.People who cannot undergo surgery may be treated by external radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is the use of a small beam of radiation targeted at the skin lesion. The radiation kills the abnormal cells and destroys the lesion. Radiation therapy can cause irritation or burning of the surrounding normal skin. It can also cause fatigue. These side effects are temporary. In addition, topical chemotherapy creams have been FDA approved for the treatment of certain low-risk nonmelanoma skin cancers. Patients with advanced or many basal cell carcinomas are sometimes prescribed oral pills to block the growth of these cancers. Side effects include muscle spasms, hair loss, taste changes, weight loss and fatigue.
In advanced cases of melanoma, immune therapies, vaccines, or chemotherapy may be used. These treatments are typically offered as clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies of new therapies to see if they can be tolerated and work better than existing therapies.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer
BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. About 75 out of every 100 non melanoma skin cancers are BCCs. They develop from basal cells and these are found in the deepest part of the outer layer of the skin .
They develop mostly in areas of skin exposed to the sun, including parts of the face such as the nose, forehead and cheeks. Also, on your back or lower legs.
They are most often diagnosed in people who are middle aged or older.
Doctors might also call a basal cell cancer a rodent ulcer.
There are a number of different types of BCC. Each type can look and behave differently. They include:
- nodular basal cell skin cancer
- superficial basal cell skin cancer
- morphoeic basal cell skin cancer – also known as sclerosing or infiltrating basal cell skin cancer
- pigmented basal cell skin cancer
Nodular basal cell cancer is the most common subtype.
It’s very rare for basal cell skin cancer to spread to another part of the body to form a secondary cancer. It’s possible to have more than one basal cell cancer at any one time and having had one does increase your risk of getting another.
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What It Looks Like
Squamous cell cancer involves the runaway growth of keratinocytes, cells in the outermost layer of skin, which produce the protein keratin. Squamous means scaly in 60%80% of cases, the lesions emerge on or near scaly patches called actinic keratoses that develop from sun-damaged skin.
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You Might Think Cancer Is One Illness But That’s An Umbrella Term For Many Types Of Cancer Here’s How Doctors Group Them
Cancer is the second deadliest disease in America, behind heart diseasebut the term cancer actually lumps over 100 diseases into one. All cancers have a lot in common: Mutations make cells change and grow out of control, and are often caused by some combination of genetic and environmental factors. Most people differentiate types of cancer by where they appear in the body, such as breast cancer or prostate cancer.
But theres another way to group types of cancer: Not just by where they appear, but what kind of cells they attack. This breaks the disease into several common types of cancer: Carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia. Learning how cancer works can give you a better understanding of the diseasethats important because cancer will strike one in three people.
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Treatment Options For Skin Cancer
The goal of any skin cancer treatment is to remove the cancer before it has a chance to spread. If the skin cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs, treating the cancer becomes more difficult. If it hasnt spread, though, treating skin cancer is often very successful.
Treatment options include:
- Surgery. Surgically removing the cancerous spot is a common option. In some cases, the spot can be removed easily in a doctors office. More advanced cases may require in-depth surgery.
- Cryosurgery. This type of surgery freezes the affected skin, killing the cancerous cells. Over time, the dead skin cells fall off.
- Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses a persons immune system to target and destroy cancer. In the case of skin cancer, a medicated cream is applied to the cancerous area. The immune system then works to destroy the cancer.
- Chemotherapy. If skin cancer has progressed beyond the skin, chemotherapy can help target and kill any cancer cells surgery cant remove. Chemotherapy comes in several forms, including oral medication, injected shots, and IV infusions. It can even be applied to the skin.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation seeks out and destroys cancer cells. Radiation is used to treat a larger area, or an area thats too difficult to treat with surgery.
- In this type of therapy, a chemical is applied to the skin cancer. After staying on the skin for many hours, the skin is exposed to a special light, destroying the cancer cells.
Skin Cancer Is More In Men Than Women Identify With These Symptoms
Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in this world. There are many types of cancer spread all over the world. Skin cancer is also one of them. According to statistics, skin cancer is almost 70 percent more common in men than in women. The number of cases of this cancer is increasing every year in the country as well. In most cases, patients are diagnosed with this cancer very late.
Vineet Kumar, from the Department of Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Center, says that when skin cells start growing, there is a risk of cancer. Skin cancer is also caused due to this reason. Cases of skin cancer are detected late as compared to other cancers. One reason for this is also that people do not pay attention to it. He does not take any problem on the skin seriously and keeps on fixing it through beauty products, while this should not be done. According to the doctor, cases of breast cancer are seen more in women, while cases of lung, head neck and skin cancer are reported in men.
Do not be constantly exposed to sun rays
According to the doctor, cancer in the skin mostly starts in those organs which are exposed to the rays of the sun for a long time. Apart from this, this risk increases for people who have light hair and eyes. Apart from this, there is also a risk of skin cancer due to pollution. For this it is necessary that protection from both excessive sunlight and pollution should be done.
These are the symptoms of skin cancer
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How Many Types Of Cancer Are There
Cancer describes a group of diseases in which abnormal cells grow out of control.
The American Cancer Society estimates the 5 most deadly cancers for 2020 in the U.S. are:
It Was Estimated That In :
- 115,800 Canadian men would be diagnosed with cancer and 44,100 men would die from cancer.
- 110,000 Canadian women would be diagnosed with cancer and 39,300 women would die from cancer.
- On average, 617 Canadians would be diagnosed with cancer every day.
- On average, 228 Canadians would die from cancer every day.
- Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer in Canada .
- These 4 cancers account for about half of all new cancer cases.
- Prostate cancer accounts for one-fifth of all new cancer cases in men.
- Lung cancer accounts for 14% of all new cases of cancer.
- Breast cancer accounts for one-quarter of all new cancer cases in women
- Colorectal cancer accounts for 12% of all new cancer cases.
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What Is The Outlook For People With Squamous Cell Cancer
Early detection of SCC is key to successful treatment. If SCC isnt treated in its early stages, the cancer may spread to other areas of the body, including the lymph nodes and organs. Once this occurs, the condition can be life threatening.
Those with weakened immune systems due to certain medical conditions, such as HIV, AIDS, or leukemia, have a greater risk of developing more serious forms of SCC.
For More Information About Skin Cancer
National Cancer Institute, Cancer Information Service Toll-free: 4-CANCER 422-6237TTY : 332-8615
Skin Cancer Foundation
Media file 1: Skin cancer. Malignant melanoma.
Media file 2: Skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma.
Media file 3: Skin cancer. Superficial spreading melanoma, left breast. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.
Media file 4: Skin cancer. Melanoma on the sole of the foot. Diagnostic punch biopsy site located at the top. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.
Media file 5: Skin cancer. Melanoma, right lower cheek. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.
Media file 6: Skin cancer. Large sun-induced squamous cell carcinoma on the forehead and temple. Image courtesy of Dr. Glenn Goldman.
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There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
What Age Does Skin Cancer Commonly Develop
The older you get, the higher your chance for developing skin cancer. About half of all Americans will develop either BCC or SCC at least once by the time theyre 65. The average age of a melanoma diagnosis is 63, notes the American Cancer Society.
But melanoma is also one of the most frequently occurring cancers in young adults, especially women. Overall, melanoma occurs more frequently in women than in men before age 50. By age 65, twice as many men than women have melanoma. Rates triple by age 80.
Long-term exposure to the suns UV rays increases a persons chances of developing skin cancer. Artificial UV light, as found in indoor tanning beds, is also a culprit. It accounts for approximately of skin cancer each year in the United States, estimates a 2014 review and meta-analysis.
The Skin Cancer Foundation goes on to report that indoor tanning beds account for:
- 245,000 cases of BCC
- 168,000 cases of SCC
- 6,200 cases of melanoma
Any history of tanning bed use increases the risk of BCC before age 40 by 69 percent.
Although were more educated and aware of skin cancer risks, the number of new cases has been climbing for 30 years even among younger Americans. In the United States, cases of BCC and SCC among men and women under age 40 are increasing. New cases in children are also on the rise.
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What Is Squamous Cell Cancer
Squamous cell cancer , also known as squamous cell carcinoma, is a type of skin cancer that typically begins in the squamous cells.
Squamous cells are the thin, flat cells that make up the epidermis, or the outermost layer of the skin.
SCC is caused by changes in the DNA of these cells, which cause them to multiply uncontrollably.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, cutaneous SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer. Approximately 700,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with this type of skin cancer each year.
People with SCC often develop scaly, red patches, open sores, or warts on their skin. These abnormal growths can develop anywhere, but theyre most often found in areas that receive the most exposure to ultraviolet radiation, either from sunlight or from tanning beds or lamps.
The condition usually isnt life threatening, but it can become dangerous if it goes untreated. When treatment isnt received promptly, the growths can increase in size and spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.