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Thursday, August 23, 2012

skin cancer types

skin cancer types - Skin cancers are malignant growths on the skin. They mostly arise from the upper layer of the skin – epidermis. Skin cancers may develop anywhere on the skin, including the scalp, lips or under-nail skin.

Skin cancers are most common after 50 years of age, but they may occur at any time.

Any chronic skin growth or discoloration that increases in size with time is suspicious for a skin cancer.

Many people know that skin cancer is something they should be concerned about, especially as it's becoming increasingly common. But while most have probably heard about the dangers of skin melanoma, they may not be as aware of the other skin cancer types, which can also be harmful and require prevention, screening, and treatment.

Skin Cancer Types
The most common forms of skin cancer are:
Basal cell carcinoma. This is the most common type of skin cancer, affecting about a million new people each year in the United States. Basal cell carcinoma:
Is caused by too much exposure to the sun.
May look like an open, oozing sore; a scar; shiny bump; or a red patch of skin.
Is easy to treat and is rarely fatal.
May cause significant scarring.
Occurs most often in fair-skinned people whose skin is not likely to tan.
Basal cell carcinoma is characterized by a chronic sore that doesn't heal or a rapidly growing lesion, according to Mary Martini, MD, director of the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Squamous cell carcinoma. This is the second most frequently diagnosed type of skin cancer, with 250,000 Americans being diagnosed each year. Squamous cell carcinoma affects the very top layer of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma:
Is caused by too much exposure to the sun.
May look like thick bumps in the skin, which may be open, lumpy, or crusty. They usually have elevated edges.
Is easy to treat and is not usually serious, but should be caught and treated early to prevent the spread to other organs.
Most often occurs on the head, shoulders and arms, but also on the edge of the ear and the lower lip.
Squamous cell carcinoma, like basal cell carcinoma, is characterized by sores that won't heal or quickly growing lesions on the skin, according to Dr. Martini.

Melanoma. This is the least common of the three main skin cancer types, but it can be the most deadly. When skin melanoma goes untreated and spreads beyond the skin and into other parts of the body, the condition can become very serious. Melanoma:
Is caused by too much exposure to the sun.
Is more common in people who have had bad (blistering) sunburns, have a lot of moles, have fair skin, and have a family history of melanoma.
May look like an irregular mole (asymmetrical, irregular borders, different colors, large in diameter, evolving), or a mole that bleeds.
May feel sore, hard, swollen, or itchy.
Can appear anywhere on the body.
May be cured when caught early, but could be fatal if caught in the advanced stages.
Malignant skin melanoma is characterized by a rapidly growing lesion that is multi-colored, often with black and pink, Martini says.

How to Help Prevent All Skin Cancer Types

They may all look a little different, but you can help to reduce your risk of all skin cancer types the same way: by being smart about the sun. Reduce exposure to the sun's harmful rays by using a high SPF sunscreen, wearing hats and long sleeves, and limiting how much time you spend out in the direct sun.

And make sure you get to know your skin very well. Do a full body check (it helps to engage a partner or friend to look at hard-to-reach areas) every month or so, and make sure your doctor does a skin check once a year. This will increase your chances that any skin changes can be identified and dealt with early. As with any cancer, skin cancer has the best outcome with early diagnosis and treatment.

skin cancer types Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn


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