Skin cancer, which is one of the most common form of cancer, results from the unrestrained growth and division of skin cells. The risk of skin cancer is greatest for people who have fair skin that freckles easily. The main cause of skin cancer is UV radiation from the sun. The underlying cause of skin cancer in older people is often the accumulated damage of many years of excessive exposure to the sun.

Types of skin cancer

Skin cancer is categorized as one of two general types:

  • Basal cell carcinomas
  • Squamous cell carcinomas
  • Melanoma

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), which is is the most common type of skin cancer (it occurs more often in men than in women), arises in a layer of skin (basal layer) beneath the skin’s surface. Both basal and squamous cell cancers are found mainly on areas of the skin exposed to the sun — the head, face, neck, hands, and arms.Basal cell carcinoma arises in cells called basal keratinocytes in the deepest layer of the epidermis, hair follicles, and sweat ducts. Basal cell carcinoma grows very slowly over a period of years, then can expand rapidly. BCC could be threated with Radiation Therapy and with Cryotherapy. Radiation Therapy procedure involves a course of radiation therapy to the tumor area. Cryotherapy involves destroying the tissue by freezing it with liquid nitrogen.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the outer layers of the skin. Every year, 250,000 Americans are diagnosed with a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. What exactly is SCC?

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Melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous of all cancers, can spread to other organs, and when it does, it often is fatal. Most of the more than 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States are considered to be sun-related.

The incidence of melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer, is increasing at a rate higher than any other cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that Melanoma will account for about 59,940 cases of skin cancer in 2007 and most (about 8,110) of the 10,850 deaths due to skin cancer each year.

For localized melanoma, the 5-year survival rate is 99%; survival rates for regional and distant stage diseases are 65% and 15%, respectively. About 80% of melanomas are diagnosed at a localized stage.

If left untreated, melanoma can be fatal. Luckily, there are a host of options that can prevent this. You should check your skin regularly, because all skin cancers could be cured if they were discovered and brought to a doctor’s attention before they had a chance to spread. –> Watch the video

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