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What Is Skin Cancer Definition

Gender Ethnic/racial And Life Span Considerations

Skin Cancer: “ABCD” Definition

The incidence of skin cancer is more common between ages 30 and 60, with the majority of lesions occurring in patients over 50. However, younger people are now more likely to develop skin cancer, perhaps because of greater exposure to the sun. Children rarely have the disease, although the incidence increases with each decade of life. The ratio of European Americans to African Americans among people who develop skin cancer is 20:1. Males are more likely than women to develop BCC and SCC . People with fair skin and freckles are at especially high risk.

What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes start to grow out of control.

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can then spread to other areas of the body. To learn more about cancer and how it starts and spreads, see What Is Cancer?

Melanoma is much less common than some other types of skin cancers. But melanoma is more dangerous because its much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early.

How To Perform A Skin Examination

Finding suspicious moles or skin cancer early is the key to treating skin cancer successfully. Examining your children is usually the first step in detecting skin cancer. The following suggested method of examination comes from the AAD:

  • Examine your child’s body front and back, then the right and left sides, with arms raised.
  • Look carefully at your child’s forearms, the back of his or her upper arms and the palms of the hands. Check between the fingers and look at the nail beds.
  • Look at backs of his legs and feet, spaces between the toes, the toenail beds and the soles of the feet.
  • Examine the back of his or her neck and scalp.
  • Check his or her back, buttocks and genital area.
  • Become familiar with your child’s skin and the pattern of moles, freckles and other marks.
  • Be alert to changes in the number, size, shape and color of pigmented areas.
  • Follow the ABCDEs when examining moles of other pigmented areas and consult your child’s doctor promptly if you notice any changes.

Read Also: How To Treat Melanoma On Face

Risk Factors For Cancers

Tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution are risk factors for cancer .

Some chronic infections are risk factors for cancer this is a particular issue in low- and middle-income countries. Approximately 13% of cancers diagnosed in 2018 globally were attributed to carcinogenic infections, including Helicobacter pylori, human papillomavirus , hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and Epstein-Barr virus .

Hepatitis B and C viruses and some types of HPV increase the risk for liver and cervical cancer, respectively. Infection with HIV substantially increases the risk of cancers such as cervical cancer.

Why Is It Called The Integumentary System

What Is Melanoma?

The integumentary system has been called a membrane and an organ but, it is generally considered a system because it has organs that work together as a system. Skin serves the primary function of protection. It also cushions internal organs and serves as the first line of defense from infection and injury.

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Look Out For An Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling is another warning sign of melanoma. This recognition strategy is based on the concept that most normal moles on your body resemble one another, while melanomas stand out like ugly ducklings in comparison. This highlights the importance of not just checking for irregularities, but also comparing any suspicious spot to surrounding moles to determine whether it looks different from its neighbors. These ugly duckling lesions or outlier lesions can be larger, smaller, lighter or darker, compared to surrounding moles. Also, isolated lesions without any surrounding moles for comparison are considered ugly ducklings.

What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer that grows on parts of your skin that get a lot of sun. It’s natural to feel worried when your doctor tells you that you have it, but keep in mind that it’s the least risky type of skin cancer. As long as you catch it early, you can be cured.

This cancer is unlikely to spread from your skin to other parts of your body, but it can move nearby into bone or other tissue under your skin. Several treatments can keep that from happening and get rid of the cancer.

The tumors start off as small shiny bumps, usually on your nose or other parts of your face. But you can get them on any part of your body, including your trunk, legs, and arms. If you’ve got fair skin, you’re more likely to get this skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma usually grows very slowly and often doesn’t show up for many years after intense or long-term exposure to the sun. You can get it at a younger age if you’re exposed to a lot of sun or use tanning beds.

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How Can I Help Prevent Sun Damage And Ultimately Skin Cancer

Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can sometimes repair itself. So, it’s never too late to begin protecting yourself from the sun. Your skin does change with age for example, you sweat less and your skin can take longer to heal, but you can delay these changes by limiting sun exposure.

Maintaining healthy skin

  • Stop smoking: People who smoke tend to have more wrinkles than nonsmokers of the same age, complexion, and history of sun exposure. The reason for this difference is unclear. It may be because smoking interferes with normal blood flow in the skin.
  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or greater 30 minutes before sun exposure and then every 2 to 3 hours thereafter. Reapply sooner if you get wet or perspire significantly.
  • Select cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
  • Wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths.
  • Relieve dry skin using a humidifier at home, bathing with soap less often , and using a moisturizing lotion.
  • Become a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child. Eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18.

Understanding UV index

0-2: Low

3-5: Moderate

6-7: High

8-10: Very high

11 or higher : Extreme

Effects On Pituitary System

What Is Skin Cancer? | Skin Cancer

commonly develops after radiation therapy for sellar and parasellar neoplasms, extrasellar brain tumours, head and neck tumours, and following whole body irradiation for systemic malignancies. Radiation-induced hypopituitarism mainly affects and . In contrast, and deficiencies are the least common among people with radiation-induced hypopituitarism. Changes in -secretion is usually mild, and vasopressin deficiency appears to be very rare as a consequence of radiation.

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When To Contact A Doctor

When a person should consult a doctor depends on various factors.

A person may not notice any symptoms or signs of cancer. In these cases, a doctor may discover it during a routine blood test or examination.

A person should contact a doctor if they:

  • develop any unexplained symptoms that do not go away
  • notice any spots on their skin
  • notice a lump on their breast

Once a person has received a diagnosis of noninvasive cancer, they should work with a doctor to develop a plan of action.

Strategies may include scheduled follow-up visits to check the progress of treatment or of the cancer itself. The doctor will determine how often they want to see a person.

Describe The Importance Of Basal Cell Cancer In The United States

Skin cancers are the most common of all cancers. Approximately 77% of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas , 20% are squamous cell carcinomas , and 3% are melanomas. There are a few other rare skin cancers. The incidence of skin cancer has been increasing by approximately 4% to 8% per year over the past 40 years, and the incidence of BCC doubled between 1970 and 1986. Much of this is attributed to sun exposure habits and the aging population. Although BCCs rarely cause fatalities, they certainly are important in that they usually occur on the face, are locally invasive, and can potentially cause significant loss of function and scarring. They can be infiltrative, but they rarely metastasize.

Douglas Hunt, Sammy Saab, in, 2012

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What Causes Skin Cancer

The primary risk factor for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers is exposure to ultraviolet light, including sunlight and tanning beds, with the risk growing with the amount of exposure.

Besides sun exposure, common skin cancer risk factors include:

  • Weakened immune system, from viruses, diseases or immune-suppression therapy associated with organ transplantation

Symptoms Of Skin Cancer

Skin Cancers Definition Cure &  Prevention

Skin cancers arent all identical, and they may not cause many symptoms. Still, unusual changes to your skin can be a warning sign for the different types of cancer. Being alert for changes to your skin may help you get a diagnosis earlier.

Watch out for symptoms, including:

  • skin lesions: A new mole, unusual growth, bump, sore, scaly patch, or dark spot develops and doesnt go away.
  • asymmetry: The two halves of the lesion or mole arent even or identical.
  • border: The lesions have ragged, uneven edges.
  • color: The spot has an unusual color, such as white, pink, black, blue, or red.
  • diameter: The spot is larger than one-quarter inch, or about the size of a pencil eraser.
  • evolving: You can detect that the mole is changing size, color, or shape.

Also Check: What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer

How Widespread Is Bcc

Basal cell carcinoma is quite common, and the number of reported cases in the U.S. has steadily increased.

  • An estimated 3.6 million Americans are diagnosed with BCC each year.
  • More than one out of every three new cancers are skin cancers, and the vast majority are BCCs.
  • The diagnosis and treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers, including BCC and squamous cell carcinoma , increased up to 77 percent between 1994 and 2014.

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Distinguishing Benign Moles From Melanoma

To find melanoma early, it is important to examine your child’s skin on a regular basis, and become familiar with moles, and other skin conditions, in order to better identify changes. Recognizing changes in your child’s moles is crucial in detecting melanoma at its earliest stage.

It is normal for children to develop new moles over time, so the traditional ABCDEs of melanoma in adults differ in children. Pediatric melanoma often presents as a pink or red new bump that is uniform in color and can be of any diameter. A changing, or evolving mole can also be concerning.

The ABCDEs of pediatric melanoma are:

  • A Amelanotic, meaning not the traditional brown, tan, blue or black color normally associated with a mole or melanoma
  • B Bleeding, Bump
  • D De novo , any Diameter
  • E Evolution, meaning changing in size, shape or other characteristics

Melanomas vary greatly in appearance. New red or pink bumps or moles that are itchy or bleeding should be checked by your child’s doctor. Always consult your child’s doctor if you have questions about a mole or other skin lesion.

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How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed

Your doctor or dermatologist will first conduct a physical examination by looking at your skin to identify any suspicious spots using a dermatoscope .

Its not always possible to tell from looking at it whether a spot or lump is cancerous or not. So your doctor or dermatologist may take a skin biopsy. This is where part of, or all of, your spot is removed and sent for further study under a microscope.

Some smartphone apps allow you to photograph your skin and compare photos over time. While they can be a good reminder to check your skin and record details, they shouldnt replace a visit to the doctor. See a doctor if youre concerned about any spots or moles on your skin.

What You Need To Know About Early Detection

Skin Cancer – How Skin Cancer Develops – What Is a Malignant Melanoma Video – About.com_mpeg4

Finding melanoma at an early stage is crucial early detection can vastly increase your chances for cure.

Look for anything new,changing or unusual on both sun-exposed and sun-protected areas of the body. Melanomas commonly appear on the legs of women, and the number one place they develop on men is the trunk. Keep in mind, though, that melanomas can arise anywhere on the skin, even in areas where the sun doesnt shine.

Most moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are harmless but not always. The ABCDEs and the Ugly Duckling sign can help you detect melanoma.

Early detection makes a difference

99%5-year survival rate for patients in the U.S. whose melanoma is detected early. The survival rate drops to 66% if the disease reaches the lymph nodes and27% if it spreads to distant organs.

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Basal Cell And Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are by far the most common skin cancers, and actually are more common than any other form of cancer. Because they rarely spread to other parts of the body, basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are usually less concerning and are treated differently from melanoma. These cancers are discussed in Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer.

Benign Tumors That Develop From Other Types Of Skin Cells

  • Seborrheic keratoses: tan, brown, or black raised spots with a waxy texture
  • Hemangiomas: benign blood vessel growths, often called strawberry spots
  • Lipomas: soft growths made up of fat cells
  • Warts: rough-surfaced growths caused by some types of human papilloma virus

Most of these tumors rarely, if ever, turn into cancers. There are many other kinds of benign skin tumors, but most are not very common.

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How Dangerous Is Bcc

While BCCs rarely spread beyond the original tumor site, if allowed to grow, these lesions can be disfiguring and dangerous. Untreated BCCs can become locally invasive, grow wide and deep into the skin and destroy skin, tissue and bone. The longer you wait to have a BCC treated, the more likely it is to recur, sometimes repeatedly.

There are some highly unusual, aggressive cases when BCC spreads to other parts of the body. In even rarer instances, this type of BCC can become life-threatening.

Prevention Of Skin Cancer

What causes skin cancer

The following steps have been recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation to help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer:

  • Minimize exposure to the sun at midday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF-30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, to all areas of your child’s body that are exposed to the sun.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days. Reapply after swimming or perspiring. Reapply every 40 or 80 minutes when spending time in the water.
  • Remember, sand and pavement reflect UV rays even under an umbrella. Snow is a particularly good reflector of UV rays. which can increase the chance of sunburn.
  • Make sure your child wears clothing that covers the body and shades the face. Hats should provide shade for both the face, ears, and back of the neck. Wearing sunglasses will reduce the amount of rays reaching the eye and protect the lids of the eyes, as well as the lens.
  • Never use sunlamps or tanning parlors.
  • Protect children from excessive sun exposure when the sun is strongest by having them play in the shade, wear sun-protective clothing , and use sunscreen liberally and frequently for children 6 months of age and older.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
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    Skin Cancer Prevention: Sun Safety And Indoor Tanning

    Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with an estimated 1 million new non-melanoma and 71,000 new melanoma cases annually.64 Though it constitutes a relatively small percentage of skin cancer cases, melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, accounting for 74% of skin cancer deaths.65 Skin cancer is also the only cancer whose incidence and prevalence continue to rise, especially among young women.66,67 Indeed, recent data indicate that the incidence of skin cancers among women under 42 years are markedly higher than among men in this same age group and are due, in large part, to women in this age group receiving excessive and repeated exposure to large amounts of UVA radiation.68 Primary prevention can play an important role in preventing skin cancer among women. The key preventive behaviors include:


    Using broad spectrum sunscreens with a minimum sun protection factor of 30 and


    Avoiding tanning bed use.

    Girish B. Kapur MD, MPH, … Samuel Stal MD, in, 2010

    The Skin And What It Does

    The skin does several jobs including:

    • protecting the inside of the body from damage
    • helping to keep our body temperature more or less the same
    • getting rid of some body waste products through sweat
    • making vitamin D

    The skin is made up of 2 main layers: the epidermis on the outside and the dermis beneath.

    The thickness of the epidermis and the dermis varies depending on the part of the body the skin is covering. For example, the skin on the sole of your foot is quite thick, about 5mm. The skin on your eyelid is much thinner, only about 0.5mm.

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