How Can Uv Cause Skin Cancer
Too much UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds can damage the DNA in our skin cells. DNA tells our cells how to function. If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to start growing out of control, which can lead to skin cancer.
Anyone can develop skin cancer, but some people can have a higher risk, including people who burn more easily.
Staying In The Sun Safely
In order to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D, it is recommended to stay in the sun 15-30 minutes per day without sunscreen. Start for a few minutes and work up to 30. If your staying out in the sun for longer wearing a hat and light clothes would be a good idea to protect the skin from burning. If you are planning to be in the hot sun for longer than 30 minutes, it is a good to have some form a sun protection. If using a sunscreen make sure to use a non-toxic one. I recommend reading the ingredients to see the bottle lists any ones mentioned above.
The EWGs first choice for sun protection is Zinc Oxide. It provides full spectrum protection of UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens like Earthie Mamas Sunscreen , are the best choice in sunscreens. There are other reasons why you might want to switch over to a mineral based sunscreen, You can read more about that HERE.
Eating a healthy diet is also important to protect your skin from the sun. A diet high in antioxidant rich foods protects the skin from a sunburn as they act as a protective layer screening the sun from burning the skin. Antioxidants include berries, dark leafy greens, artichokes, green tea, dark chocolate and more.
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The Abcdes Of Melanoma
To help people find a possible melanoma on their skin, dermatologists created the ABCDEs of melanoma:
|A is for Asymmetry|
If you find a spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDEs of melanoma, see a board-certified dermatologist for a skin exam.
The following pictures can help you see how the ABCDEs of melanoma can appear on the skin.
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What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Skin Cancer
Most basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet radiation produced by the sun, but other risk factors also are linked to these skin cancers. Risk factors listed below can increase the risk for skin cancer.
Ultraviolet radiation: Too much exposure to UV radiation is a risk factor for skin cancer. The main source of such radiation is sunlight and tanning lamps and booths.Race: People with fair skin, freckling or red or blond hair have a higher risk. The risk of skin cancer is much higher for whites than for dark-skinned African Americans.Moles: Certain types of moles, including some large moles, increase the chance of getting melanoma.Family history: People with a family history of skin cancer are at increased risk . A person who has already had melanoma is at a higher risk of getting another melanoma.Exposure to chemicals: Exposure to large amounts of arsenic, a heavy metal used in making some insecticides, increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer.Radiation: Radiation treatment increases the risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer in the area that was treated.Gender: Men are more likely to develop skin cancer than women.Age: More than 50 percent of all melanomas occur in people older than 50 years of age.
Skin Cancer Symptoms And Signs
Basal Cell Carcinoma
BCC is the most common type of skin cancer and has a predilection for sun-exposed skin. Tumors may appear as a pearly or waxy bumps usually with visible blood vessels , or as a flat scaly reddish patch with a brown border, or as a hard or scar-like lesion . Frequently BCCs can be itchy, often bleed, or in more advanced cases, ulcerate.
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How To Prevent Skin Cancer
- The best way to lower the risk of skin cancer is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun and other sources of UV radiation. Avoid being outdoors in sunlight for long periods, especially in the middle of the day when UV radiation is most intense.
- Protect your skin with clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt and a hat with a broad brim.
- Use sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF factor of at least 15. Put it on about 20 to 30 minutes before you go outside so your skin can absorb it and reapply every two hours.
- Wear sunglasses/goggles .
- Avoid other sources of UV light such as tanning beds and sun lamps.
- Teach your children to protect themselves from the sun. People who suffer severe blistering sunburns particularly in childhood or teenage years are at increased risk of melanoma.
How Does Sunlight Affect The Skin
When ultraviolet radiation reaches the skin, some radiation is reflected away from the surface. The remaining radiation is scattered into the tissues just beneath the skin’s surface. A fraction of this radiation is absorbed by the skin’s living cells.
Ultraviolet radiation absorbed by living cells damages sensitive substances that influence the skin’s normal growth and appearance. Damage can result in:
- increased rate of aging of the skin
- skin cancer
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How Is Skin Cancer Treated
Treatment options for skin cancer depend on the size, location, type, and stage of cancer:
- Cryotherapy: The tumor is frozen with liquid nitrogen, and then, the dead tissues are removed when the tumor thaws.
- Curettage and electrodessication: Layers of cancer cells are scraped away using a curette , and any remaining cancer cells are destroyed with an electric needle.
- Excisional surgery: Cancerous tissue and surrounding healthy skin are removed.
- Mohs surgery: Tumor is removed layer by layer until no abnormal cells remain without removing excessive healthy skin.
- Chemotherapy: Specific medications are used to kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: High-powered energy beams are used to kill cancer cells.
- : Cancer cells are destroyed using a combination of laser light and medications.
- Immunotherapy/Biological therapy: This treatment encourages the bodys immune system to destroy cancer cells.
What Does Skin Cancer Look Like
Basal cell carcinoma
BCC frequently develops in people who have fair skin. People who have skin of color also get this skin cancer.
BCCs often look like a flesh-colored round growth, pearl-like bump, or a pinkish patch of skin.
BCCs usually develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
BCCs are common on the head, neck, and arms however, they can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC are important. BCC can grow deep. Allowed to grow, it can penetrate the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC. This skin cancer also develops in people who have darker skin.
SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
SCC tends to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back.
SCC can grow deep into the skin, causing damage and disfigurement.
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent SCC from growing deep and spreading to other areas of the body.
SCC can develop from a precancerous skin growth
People who get AKs usually have fair skin.
AKs usually form on the skin that gets lots of sun exposure, such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms.
Because an AK can turn into a type of skin cancer, treatment is important.
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Prevent Skin Cancer With Sunscreen
So, basically, SPF numbers come from a math equation. Dont worry, I wont ask you to do any math here! Really, what these numbers tell you is how much longer you can soak up the rays before your skin turns red! Its important not to ignore that red glow! Sun damaged skin can show up years later as splotchy spots or even the C word!
Whether its sea or sweat, you should ask about water resistance. This means that your sunscreen keeps protecting after 40 minutes of being in the water. Very water resistant would call for 80 minutes.
In other words, an SPF of 10 would take 10 times the baseline to make your skin red SPF 20 would take 20 times, SPF 30 would take 30 times and so on.
Did you know, that broad spectrum is the most recommended? What makes it broad is based on the amount of time it takes to darken the skin. Definitely, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen and apply it frequently.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
The following three sections refer to treatment using x-rays.
Conventional external beam radiation therapy
Historically conventional external beam radiation therapy was delivered via two-dimensional beams using kilovoltage therapy x-ray units, medical linear accelerators that generate high-energy x-rays, or with machines that were similar to a linear accelerator in appearance, but used a sealed radioactive source like the one shown above. 2DXRT mainly consists of a single beam of radiation delivered to the patient from several directions: often front or back, and both sides.
Conventional refers to the way the treatment is planned or simulated on a specially calibrated diagnostic x-ray machine known as a simulator because it recreates the linear accelerator actions , and to the usually well-established arrangements of the radiation beams to achieve a desired plan. The aim of simulation is to accurately target or localize the volume which is to be treated. This technique is well established and is generally quick and reliable. The worry is that some high-dose treatments may be limited by the radiation toxicity capacity of healthy tissues which lie close to the target tumor volume.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
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What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancers often do not cause symptoms until they become quite large then they can bleed or even hurt. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body. It is important to know the difference between melanoma and a harmless mole.
The ABCD rule can help determine whether a mole is normal or a melanoma. If a mole has the following characteristics, it might be a melanoma:
A: asymmetry one half of the mole does not match the other half.B: border irregularity the edges of the mole are ragged or notched.C: color the color of the mole is not the same all over. There may be shades of tan, brown, or black, and sometimes patches of red, blue or white.D: diameter the mole is wider than about one-fourth of an inch.
- Nonmelanoma skin cancers are found on areas of skin exposed to sun.
- Basal cell carcinomas often appear as flat, firm, pale areas or as small, raised, pink or red, translucent, shiny, waxy areas that may bleed after minor injury. Large ones may have oozing or crusted spots.
- Squamous cell cancer may appear as growing lumps, often with a rough surface or as flat, reddish patches that grow slowly.
It is important to report any of these symptoms to a doctor.
Only Women Who Sunbathe All The Time Get Skin Cancer
This is a big fat myth! Figures show that in 2013, almost 6,000 men were diagnosed with skin cancer compared to just under 5,000 women.
Skin cancer represents 29% of all cancers in women and 31% of all cancer cases in men, so its pretty clear it is not a female-only issue. By 2040 it is estimated that there will be 13,000 females diagnosed and over 20,000 males.
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
At this time of year, it is surprising if you havent seen magazine ads, commercials, social media ads marketing a sunscreen you should buy to protect you from the sun. Unfortunately, the sunscreens that you are being influenced with are not products that are good for you to use. The focus of selling these products is that you need to lather them on or else you could get skin cancer. However, recent studies have found that sunscreens could be causing more harm than good.
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What Are The Stages Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is staged based on the extent of cancer spread:
- Stage 0: Cancer cells have not spread beyond the epidermis.
- Stage I: Cancer spreads to the next layer of skin, the dermis.
- Stage II: Tumor is larger than 2 cm.
- Stage III: Cancer has spread to nearby tissue, lymph node, or bone and is larger than 3 cm.
- Stage IV: Cancer has metastasized and spread beyond the primary tumor site to lymph nodes, muscles, nerves, bone, or other organs of the body.
Current Trends In Sun Protection Sunburn And Indoor Tanning
Data on behaviors related to skin cancer risk among the U.S. population are collected by CDC through the national YRBS and NHIS. The national YRBS is a cross-sectional, school-based, biennial survey that monitors the prevalence of health risk behaviors among high school students. It is a nationally representative survey of students in grades 9â12 attending public and private schools. This survey includes questions about using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and indoor tanning. The NHIS is an annual, cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population. Interviews are conducted, mainly in person, with adults aged 18 years or older in each household, with follow-up interviews by telephone when necessary.
A periodic cancer control supplement to the NHIS includes questions about outdoor sun-protective behaviors , indoor tanning, sunburn, and sun sensitivity. This supplement is sponsored by CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and the National Cancer Institute in the National Institutes of Health .
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What Exams And Tests Diagnose Skin Cancer
If you have a worrisome mole or other lesion, your primary-care provider will probably refer you to a dermatologist. The dermatologist will examine any moles in question and, in many cases, the entire skin surface.
- Any lesions that are difficult to identify, or are thought to be skin cancer, may then be checked.
- A sample of skin will be taken so that the suspicious area of skin can be examined under a microscope.
- A biopsy can almost always be done in the dermatologist’s office.
If a biopsy shows that you have malignant melanoma, you will probably undergo further testing to determine the extent of spread of the disease, if any. This may involve blood tests, a chest X-ray, and other tests as needed.
Uv Exposure And Overexposure
UV exposure stimulates melanocytes to produce melanin, often resulting in a tan or sunburn, both of which indicate overexposure and damage to the skin, skin cells, and DNA within those skin cells., The underlying biology of skin cancer risk is directly related to damage to the skin and its genetic material. Although all UV exposures can affect skin cancer risk, entirely avoiding UV rays from the sun is neither realistic nor advisable for most Americans. Spending time outdoors is associated with positive health benefits, such as increased levels of physical activity and improved mental health.-
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How Is Skin Cancer Caused
Skin cancers originate in the skin due to abnormal cell growth. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and can be cured effectively if diagnosed and treated early. Most often, skin cancer develops in parts of the body exposed to the sun, such as the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands, and legs . Sometimes, it forms in places that are not exposed to the sun, such as palms, under fingernails or toenails, and genital areas.
Skin cancer is caused by the damage and subsequent changes to the deoxyribonucleic acid that trigger mutations. DNA mutations are induced by the suns harmful ultraviolet rays in the cells of the epidermis . These mutations cause the skin cells to grow rapidly and form malignant tumors.
What Changes In The Skin Occur Due To Exposure To The Sun
Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. People think a glowing complexion means good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun can actually speed up the effects of aging and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily in addition to taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it will definitely show later in life. The sun can also cause issues for your eyes, eyelids, and the skin around the eyes.
Changes in the skin related to sun exposure:
- Precancerous and cancerous skin lesions caused by loss of the skin’s immune function.
- Benign tumors.
- Fine and coarse wrinkles.
- Freckles discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation and sallowness, yellow discoloration of the skin.
- Telangiectasias, the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin.
- Elastosis, the destruction of the elastic tissue causing lines and wrinkles.
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