Three Most Common Skin Cancers
It is estimated that one in seven people in the United States will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. Although anyone can get skin cancer, people who burn easily and are fair-skinned are at higher risk. Researchers believe that one serious sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer by as much as 50%. A yearly skin exam by a doctor is the best way to detect skin cancer early, when it is most treatable. If you have a new growth or any change in your skin, be sure to see your doctor to have it examined. Remember, protecting yourself from the sun is the best way to prevent all forms of skin cancer.
What Causes Skin Cancer
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer, but UV light from tanning beds is just as harmful. Exposure to sunlight during the winter months puts you at the same risk as exposure during the summertime.
Cumulative sun exposure causes mainly basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, while episodes of severe blistering sunburns, usually before age 18, can cause melanoma later in life. Other less common causes are repeated X-ray exposure, scars from burns or disease, and occupational exposure to certain chemicals.
Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays also affect the eyes and the skin around the eyes. Sun exposure may lead to cataracts, cancer of the eyelids, and possibly macular degeneration.
What You Need To Know About Sunburn
- Some people are more prone to sunburn: Skin type determines your susceptibility; people with fair skin run the greatest risk. But anyone can get burned.
- Even without a burn, sun exposure raises skin cancer risk. Even if you are tan or your skin type is dark and your skin does not redden, the sun can cause cellular damage that can lead to cancer.
- The UV index is a factor: The sun varies in intensity by season, time of day and geographic location. A high UV index means that unprotected skin will burn faster or more severely. Be careful, especially when the sun is strongest. But even when the index is low, the risk remains. Protect yourself every day of the year.
- You can burn on an overcast day:;Be careful even when the sun isnt shining. Up to 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate clouds.
- Light pink is still bad: No matter how mild, every burn is a sign of injury to your skin that can result in premature aging and skin cancer.
Read Also: What Are The Early Stages Of Melanoma
Men Are More Vulnerable Than Women
While women, especially young women, have shown a worrying increase in skin cancer incidence rates in recent decades, men are even more vulnerable.
Statistics show that men have squamous and squamous cell carcinoma more often than women.
Generally, men are more likely to be melanoma than women. Before the age of 50, the incidence for women is higher; After 50 years its bigger for men.
The incidence of melanoma in men aged 80 years and older are three times higher than in women of the same age.
One reason for this might be that men know less about skin cancer than women, so they are less willing to take protective measures such as using sunscreen.
A 2016 survey by the American Academy of Dermatology found that 76% of women surveyed believe that healthy tanning does not exist, but only 56% of men.
Some researchers also concluded that the mens skin is more likely to prone to UV rays than women because of its thickness, with less fat underneath and contains more collagen and elastin.
Studies have shown that mens skin is more sensitive to UV rays than women.
Basal Cell Carcinoma: The Most Common Skin Cancer
Basal cell carcinoma, which is also called basal cell skin cancer, is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 80 percent of all cases.
Rates of basal cell carcinoma have been increasing. Experts believe this is due to more sun exposure, longer lives, and better skin cancer detection methods.
This type of cancer begins in the skins basal cells, which are found in the outermost layer, the epidermis. They usually develop on areas that are exposed to the sun, like the face, head, and neck.
Basal cell carcinomas may look like:
- A flesh-colored, round growth
- A pinkish patch of skin
- A bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and then comes back
They typically grow slowly and dont spread to other areas of the body. But, if these cancers arent treated, they can expand deeper and penetrate into nerves and bones.
Though its rare, basal cell carcinoma can be life-threatening. Experts believe that about 2,000 people in the United States die each year from basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Some risk factors that increase your chances of having a basal cell carcinoma include:
- Being exposed to the sun or indoor tanning
- Having a history of skin cancer
- Being over age 50
- Having chronic infections, skin inflammation, or a weakened immune system
- Being exposed to industrial compounds, radiation, coal tar, or arsenic
- Having an inherited disorder, such as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome or xeroderma pigmentosum
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What You Need To Know
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide.
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
- When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.
Theres more than meets the eye when it comes to skin cancer, so make sure you know all the facts. You can #SharetheFacts on social media by downloading images from our Skin Cancer Awareness Toolkit.;For the latest news, visit our Press Room.
Leading Cause Of Skin Cancer
By;;|;;Submitted On August 21, 2008
The leading cause of skin cancer is over exposure to sunlight. The reason for this is that it is virtually impossible to stay out of the sunlight and an attitude that a suntan is a sign of health and vitality. This article will elaborate on the cause of skin cancer and ways to prevent it spreading.
The Sun produces two forms of ultraviolet radiation that is thought to be the carcinogen that causes cancer. These are UVA and UVB radiation. They are both ultra violet radiation but have different wavelengths. Initially it was though that UVA was the only cause but recent research suggests that UVB is just as bad.
So there are two strategies to preventing skin cancer. Limit the amount of time that you spend in the Sun. Avoid being in the Sun when it is hottest . If you can’t avoid being in the Sun at this time or are frequently outdoors, then take precautions to limit the damage that UV rays can do to your skin. The second strategy is to change people’s ideas that a sun tan is fashionable and healthy.
Taking precautions when in the Sun is relatively straightforward. Try to cover your skin in protective clothing as much as possible. This means wearing a wide brimmed hat. It also means wearing protective clothing.
You should also look at protecting the eyes with a good pair of sunglasses, as the eyes are just as susceptible to ultraviolet radiation.
Find out more about the types of skin cancer and ways to prevent and treat the disease at
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Boris D Lushniak Md Mph
Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, leads the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, the universitys youngest and most racially and ethnically diverse academic college. He has developed several new academic programs to meet workforce needs, launched a global health initiative and provided leadership in the context of the global coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Lushniak is creating ways for students to take action and engage civically through global experiences and activities focused on promoting social justice and equity and dismantling racism.
Before coming to UMD, he;served as professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics and Professor of Dermatology, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Lushniak was the U.S. Deputy Surgeon General from November 2010 to September 2015, assisting the Surgeon General in articulating the best available scientific information to the public to improve personal health and the health of the nation. He also oversaw the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, comprised of approximately 6,700 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation.
What Are Other Risk Factors For Skin Cancer
A risk factor is something that increases the risk of getting cancer. Having a risk factor or multiple risk factors does not mean a person will get cancer. There are circumstances where people with multiple risk factors do not get cancer, and some people who get it may have a few or no known risk factors.
However, it is essential to be aware of the risk factors to prevent getting skin cancer. Some of the risk factors include
- Light-colored skin: People with fair skin with the following characteristics are at higher risk of getting skin cancer:
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Other Causes Of Skin Cancer
In addition to the findings on diet, nutrition and physical activity outlined above, other established causes of skin cancer include:
Over-exposure to certain types of light, such as ultra-violet rays from the sun or tanning devices, is the principal;cause of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Medicines used to suppress the immune system after organ transplantation are associated with increased risk of skin cancers, particularly squamous cell carcinoma.
Infection with human papilloma virus can cause squamous cell carcinomas of the skin, especially in people whose immune systems are compromised.
- occupational exposure
Exposure to specific chemicals used in the plastic and chemical industries polychlorinated biphenyls is strongly associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.
- genetics and family history
Some rare mutation in specific genes can lead to skin cancer. Having a family history of skin cancer also increases risk.
- skin pigmentation
Skin cancer is more common in lighter-skinned populations than in darker-skinned populations.
Who Is At Risk For Skin Cancer
Although anyone can get skin cancer, the risk is greatest in people who have fair or freckled skin that burns easily, light eyes and blond or red hair. Darker-skinned individuals are also susceptible to all types of skin cancer, although their risk is lower.
In addition to complexion, other risk factors include having a family history or personal history of skin cancer, having an outdoor job, and living in a sunny climate. A history of severe sunburns and an abundance of large and irregularly shaped moles are risk factors unique to melanoma.
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What Were The Leading Causes Of Cancer Death In 2019
Lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death, accounting for 23% of all cancer deaths. Other common causes of cancer death were cancers of the colon and rectum , pancreas , female breast , prostate , and liver and intrahepatic bile duct . Other cancers individually accounted for less than 5% of cancer deaths.
- 139,603 people died of lung cancer .
- 51,896 people died of colorectal cancer .
- 45,886 people died of pancreatic cancer .
- 42,281 females died of breast cancer.
- 31,638 males died of prostate cancer.
- 27,959 people died of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer .
NOTES: Deaths were classified using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. Cancer deaths were identified using underlying cause-of-death codes C00-C97 .
National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data.
Leading Causes Of Skin Cancer
You may be confronted with early warning signs of skin cancer and be completely unaware. You may even know someone who has been personally affected by skin cancer. You may have a loved one who is struggling with it presently. For all these reasons and more, it is essential to identify the leading causes of skin cancer to be aware and able to prevent it from developing.
Skin Cancer: Quick Facts From The Surgeon General
Skin cancer is a serious public health concern.
Every year, there are more than 63,000 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, resulting in nearly 9,000 deaths.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with 5 MILLION PEOPLE treated each year.
Treatment for skin cancer costs $8.1 BILLION each year in the United States.
Anyone can get skin cancer. Although those with lighter skin are at higher risk of getting skin cancer, people with darker skin may often be diagnosed with skin cancer at a later stage, making it difficult to treat.
Most skin cancers can be preventedbut we arent doing enough.
More than 1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year. Sunburn is a clear sign of overexposure to UV rays, a major cause of skin cancer.
More than 400,000 cases of skin cancer, about 6,000 of which are melanomas, are estimated to be related to indoor tanning in the U.S. each year.
Tanned skin is damaged skin, yet nearly 1 out of every 3 young white women engages in indoor tanning each year.
Choose sun protection strategies that work:
- Wear a hat, sunglasses, and other protective clothing, seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Use broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ to protect any exposed skin. Remember that sunscreen is most effective when used in combination with other methods, and when reapplied as directed.
For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Skin Cancer
The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, typically a new mole, a new skin lesion or a change in an existing mole.
- Basal cell carcinoma may appear as a small, smooth, pearly, or waxy bump on the face, or neck, or as a flat, pink/red- or brown-colored lesion on the trunk, arms or legs.
- Squamous cell carcinoma can appear as a firm, red nodule, or as a rough, scaly, flat lesion that may itch, bleed and become crusty. Both basal cell and squamous cell cancers mainly occur on areas of the skin frequently exposed to the sun, but can occur anywhere.
- Melanoma usually appears as a pigmented patch or bump. It may resemble a normal mole, but usually has a more irregular appearance.
When looking for melanoma, think of the ABCDE rule that tells you the signs to watch for:
- Asymmetry: The shape of one half doesn’t match the other.
- Border: Edges are ragged or blurred.
- Color: Uneven shades of brown, black, tan, red, white or blue.
- Diameter: A significant change in size .
- Evolution: Changes in the way a mole or lesion looks or feels .
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Cancerous Mole
For the most part, both common and atypical moles should stay the same, regarding size, shape, and color-and it’s when any mole, old or new, begins to change, that you should take notice.
There are a few different ways to examine moles to see if they’re concerning. The first is called the ABCDE method, says Dr. Zeichner, who describes the acronym below:
- A: Asymmetry, when one side does not look like the other side.
- B: Border, when the border is jagged or punched out rather than smooth.
- C: Color, when a mole has multiple colors to it, like brown, black, white, or blue.
- D: Diameter, when a mole has a diameter greater than six millimeters .
- E: Evolution, when a mole changes in shape or appearance over time.
Another common symptom of cancerous moles is discomfort like itchiness or pain, according to the AADA.
Seeing brand-new moles pop up on your skin-also known as acquired moles-may also be something to watch out for. Though common, these moles lead to melanoma more often than congenital moles. According to The Skin Care Foundation, only 20%-30% of melanomas are found in existing moles-the other 70%-80% arise in “normal-looking” skin. So, if you have a new mole that looks concerning, you should get it checked out.
Cancer Incidence And Death Rates By Sex And World Region
Worldwide, the incidence rate for all cancers combined was 19% higher in men than in women in 2020, although rates varied widely across regions. Among men, incidence rates ranged almost 5-fold, from 494.2 per 100,000 in Australia/New Zealand to 100.6 per 100,000 in Western Africa ; among women, rates varied nearly 4-fold, from 405.2 per 100,000 in Australia/New Zealand to 102.5 per 100,000 in South Central Asia. These variations largely reflect differences in exposure to risk factors and associated cancers and barriers to high-quality cancer prevention and early detection. For example, the highest overall incidence rates in Australia/New Zealand are caused in part by an elevated risk of NMSC because most of the population is light-skinned, and excessive sun exposure is prevalent, in conjunction with increased detection of the disease.
The gender gap for overall cancer mortality worldwide is twice that for incidence, with death rates 43% higher in men than in women , partly because of differences in the distribution of the cancer types. Death rates per 100,000 persons varied from 165.6 per 100,000 in Eastern Europe to 70.2 per 100,000 in Central America among men and from 118.3 per 100,000 in Melanesia to 63.1 per 100,000 in Central America and South Central Asia among women. Notably, the cumulative risk of dying from cancer among women in 2020 was higher in Eastern Africa than in Northern America , Western Europe , and Australia/New Zealand .
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