Wednesday, June 15, 2022
HomeExclusiveWhat Is The Most Common Skin Cancer

What Is The Most Common Skin Cancer

Causes Of Skin Cancer

What are the most common places to see skin cancer?

One of the main causes of skin cancer is being exposed to UV rays. UV rays are invisible, and are produced by the sun, and tanning equipment.

UV rays cause skin cancer by creating changes in the cells of your skin. In some cases, the UV rays cause direct damage to your cells. Tans and sunburns, for example, are both signs that UV rays have damaged your skin. In other cases, UV rays cause skin cancer indirectly, by weakening the immune system.

Many studies on skin cancer show that people who have suffered many severe sunburns in childhood are at greater risk of developing skin cancer. Family history, some chemical exposures, and immune dysfunction conditions can also create a greater risk of developing skin cancer.

Can You Prevent Skin Cancer

According to Dr. Dorsey, Skin cancer is an extremely serious condition, but with proactive care, most cases can be avoided altogether. In fact, taking a few small steps to limit sun damage and conducting regular skin self-exams is all you need to do to keep your skin healthy. Because sun exposure is the main underlying cause of skin cancer, sun protection is essential to prevent this condition. Patients need to apply sunscreen every day and reapply at least every two hours during prolonged sun exposure. Whenever possible, limit or avoid time spent outdoors during peak sun hours between 10 am and 4 pm. If patients need to be outdoors during these times, its important to wear protective coverings, seek shade, and reapply sunscreen frequently.

In addition to daily sun protection steps, patients also need to perform self-exams at least every month. Early detection is key to providing effective skin cancer treatment, so regular self-exams are an essential part of keeping people healthy. Your Board Certified Dermatologist can walk you through a self-exam when you visit the office, but the basic process involves carefully examining your skin, from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet , and noting any spots, lesions, bumps, discoloration, or other skin changes or irregularities. When you know where marks are on your skin, youll be more likely to notice if they are growing or changing in ways that are concerning or that indicate skin cancer.

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.

Recommended Reading: What Are The 2 Types Of Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Support Groups And Counseling

Living with skin cancer presents many new challenges for you and for your family and friends. You will probably have many worries about how the cancer will affect you and your ability to “live a normal life,” that is, to care for your family and home, to hold your job, and to continue the friendships and activities you enjoy.

Many people with a skin cancer diagnosis feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful others feel helpless and defeated. For most people with skin cancer, talking about their feelings and concerns helps. Your friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how you are coping. Don’t wait for them to bring it up. If you want to talk about your concerns, let them know.

Continued

Some people don’t want to “burden” their loved ones, or prefer talking about their concerns with a more neutral professional. A social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful. Your dermatologist or oncologist should be able to recommend someone.

Many people with cancer are profoundly helped by talking to other people who have cancer. Sharing your concerns with others who have been through the same thing can be remarkably reassuring. Support groups for people with cancer may be available through the medical center where you are receiving your treatment. The American Cancer Society also has information about support groups throughout the U.S.

Reducing The Cancer Burden

Why And How Skin Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

Between 30 and 50% of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection of cancer and appropriate treatment and care of patients who develop cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated appropriately.

You May Like: Can Renal Cell Carcinoma Be Benign

Economic Burden Of Skin Cancer

In addition to causing illness and death, skin cancer is costly to the nation. Skin cancer treatment is estimated to cost about $8.1 billion in the United States each year, $4.8 billion of which is for NMSC and $3.3 billion of which is for melanoma. Several new medications are available for skin cancer, which increases treatment options but could also lead to higher costs.-

Skin cancer also results in significant costs beyond those related to treatment. Annual costs associated with lost workdays and restricted-activity days are estimated at $76.8 million for NMSC and $29.4 million for melanoma., An individual in the United States dying from melanoma loses an average of 20.4 years of potential life, compared with an average of 16.6 years for all malignant cancers. Annual productivity losses associated with these lost years is estimated to cost an additional $4.5 billion .,

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.

Recommended Reading: What Does Skin Cancer Look Like On Your Head

The Stats Point To Greater Mortality Risk For Dark Skin

Its true that, in general, skin cancer is a greater risk for light-skinned individuals. A 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that:

Among men, Caucasian men had the highest rate of getting melanoma of the skin, followed by American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African-American men.

Among women, Caucasian women had the highest rate of getting melanoma of the skin, followed by Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African-American women.

While the risk of skin cancer is lower for those with darker skin, the five-year survival rate for melanoma for African Americans is 73 percent, compared with 91 percent for Caucasians, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Many attribute this gap to lower awareness, and, as a result, later detection and skin cancer that is harder to treat. The Skin Cancer Foundation cites a study that found: Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among minority patients than Caucasian patients 52 percent of non-Hispanic dark-skinned patients and 26 percent of Hispanic patients receive an initial diagnosis of advanced stage melanoma, versus 16 percent of non-Hispanic light-skinned patients.

Latinos, Chinese, and Japanese Asians tend to develop basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer. But the second most common, squamous cell carcinoma, is more frequent among African Americans and Asian Indians.

Skin Cancer On The Face: Types And Prevention

What is the Most Common Form of Skin Cancer?

Casey Gallagher, MD, is board-certified in dermatology. He is a clinical professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, and co-founder and practicing dermatologist at the Boulder Valley Center for Dermatology in Colorado.

Because it is exposed to the sun more than other parts of the body, the skin on your face is especially vulnerable to skin cancer. And skin cancer on the face can be mistaken for other conditionssuch as age spots, pimples, scarring, acne, styes, and cysts.

Skin cancers that tend to occur more often on the face include actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. The face is also a common site of melanoma and there are several other lesser-common skin cancers that can affect the face. The risk of getting skin cancers on the face increases with high amounts of sun exposure and other ultraviolet light exposure.

About 75% of non-melanoma skin cancers occur on the head or neck.

Skin cancer occurs when cells in the skin’s layers become damaged in ways that cause them to look and act differently than the normal healthy cells around them and start to grow out of control. UV rays play a major role in damaging cells by causing gene mutations.

You can watch for signs of skin cancer on your face by paying attention to new or odd-looking spots or feeling growths, splotches, or moles.

You May Like: Do I Have Basal Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Common In Sun

Squamous cell carcinoma, also called squamous cell cancer, is the second most common type of skin cancer. It accounts for about 20 percent of cases.

This type of cancer starts in flat cells in the outer part of the epidermis. It commonly crops up on sun-exposed areas, such as the face, ears, neck, lips, and hands. It can also develop on scars or chronic sores.

Squamous cell carcinomas may develop from precancerous skin spots, known as actinic keratosis .

These cancers might look like:

  • A firm, red bump
  • A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
  • A sore that heals and then reopens

People with lighter skin are more at risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma, but the skin cancer can also affect those with darker skin.

Other risk factors include:

  • Having light eyes, blond or red hair, or freckles
  • Being exposed to the sun or tanning beds
  • Having a history of skin cancer
  • Having a history of sunburns
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Having the genetic disorder xeroderma pigmentosum

RELATED: 10 Things You May Know Cause Skin Cancer

How Common Is Skin Cancer

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia. About two in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.

Almost 980,000 new cases of BCC and SCC are treated each year. BCC can develop in young people, but it is more common in people over 40. SCC occurs mostly in people over 50.

More than 13,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma in Australia every year. Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of melanoma in the world.

For an overview of what to expect during all stages of your cancer care, visit Cancer Pathways Basal and squamous cell carcinoma. This is a short guide to what is recommended, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.

Don’t Miss: What Is Carcinoma In Situ Of Cervix

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:

  • sunburn

Find out how to protect yourself from the sun and prevent skin cancer from occurring.

How To Reduce Your Risk

Skin Cancer

According to a 1997 study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignancy in people with light complexions However, this doesnt mean that dark complexions are off the hook.

Anyone can get basal cell carcinoma, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. To reduce your risk of BCC and other types of skin cancer, being smart about sun safety is key.

One of the best things you can do to reduce your risk is to use a daily moisturizer with SPF on your face. Think about it: Your face is the one area on your body that is almost never covered by sun protective clothing.

Additionally, a moisturizer is formulated to protect your skin from sun damage without being overly greasy. Use your SPF moisturizer on your face and neck while saving your regular sunscreen for your body.

Other ways to reduce your risk of basal cell carcinoma include avoiding the sun when UV rays are at their strongest and seeking the shade whenever possible.

You May Like: What Is The Meaning Of Carcinoma

Protect Yourself From The Sun

Sun exposure is a major cause of skin cancer, so protecting yourself from the sun is critical. While many people wear sunscreen during the summer, its important to wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 all year round. Even when its cloudy, raining, or even snowing, the suns rays can still damage your skin. Protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, should also be used to physically shield yourself from the sun.

Why A Focus On Uv Radiation

Although genetic factors, such as being fair-skinned or having a family history of skin cancer, contribute to a person’s risk,- the most common types of skin cancer are also strongly associated with exposure to UV radiation.,- UV exposure is also the most preventable cause of skin cancer. This focuses on reducing UV exposure, with an emphasis on addressing excessive, avoidable, or unnecessary UV exposures and intentional exposure for the purpose of skin tanning .

This document focuses on primary prevention of skin cancer through reducing overexposure to UV, not on early detection or screening. The evidence on skin cancer screening is growing, and ongoing examinations of the evidence are important. Melanomas diagnosed at earlier stages are much more treatable than those diagnosed at later stages., It is important for the public to understand that anyone can get skin cancer and to know the signs, which can be found in and at . Information on screening is available in .

You May Like: How To Know If You Have Melanoma

How To Check Your Skin For Skin Cancer

Follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when its most treatable.

If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

How to check your skin for skin cancer

Follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists to increase your chances of spotting skin cancer early, when its most treatable.

If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.

Related AAD resources

Recommendations For Prevention And Early Detection Of Skin Cancer In People Of Color

Survey Shows Most People Don’t Know About Common Type Of Skin Cancer

Prevention is better than cure and more than 90% of skin cancers are preventable . Because many people of color believe that they are not at risk of skin cancer, education through media and doctors offices is extremely important. People of color should perform regular self examination of their skin from head to the toe carefully every month. There are various types of skin tumors, many are benign which include moles , warts and lipomas etc that can develop from different types of skin cells . However, unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes, markings or changes in the way an area of the skin looks or feels may be a sign of melanoma or another type of skin cancer or a warning that it might occur. Know your ABCDEs can be a good guide for people of color to detect melanoma at an early stage .

How to Detect Melanoma Source:The Skin Cancer Foundation

Also Check: What Are The Different Types Of Melanoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment

Squamous cell carcinoma can usually be treated with minor surgery that can be done in a doctors office or hospital clinic. Depending on the size and location of the SCC, your doctor may choose different techniques to remove it.

For small skin cancers:

  • Curettage and electrodessication : removing the top layer of the skin cancer then using an electronic needle to kill cancer cells
  • Laser therapy: an intense light destroys the growth
  • : a photosensitizing solution applied to your skin then activated with a light or daylight, or sometimes with intense pulsed light
  • Cryosurgery: freezing of the spot using liquid nitrogen

For larger skin cancers:

  • Excision: cutting out the cancer spot and some healthy skin around it, then stitching up the wound
  • Mohs surgery: excision and then inspecting the excised skin using a microscope this requires stitching up the wound

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles