Skin cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the United States. While nearly all skin cancers are not deadly, they can be very serious and may require surgery or radiation treatment to remove the affected area. Some people are at greater risk than others, although anyone can have it. The most preventable form of skin cancer occurs because of overexposure to UV radiation from the sun, either from tanning beds or from outdoor sources such as the beach and sunbathing areas. Tanning bed exposure can lead to the formation of basal cell cancer and melanoma, two of the most serious forms of skin cancer.
People who frequently spend time outdoors or who spend a great deal of time on tanning booths should try to avoid overexposure by wearing hats and sunglasses and protecting their skin with clothing and sunscreen. People, who spend a lot of time out of doors and in areas with a lot of sunlight, such as near the beach or in rooms with open windows, should always wear a sun hat and always use the proper protection while outdoors. People with fair skin and dark hair are at a greater risk of skin cancer than those with pale skin and lighter hair because exposure to the UV radiation from the sun can cause pigmentation or moles.
Moles are usually found on people’s skin when they are mature and begin to grow, but some grow and don’t show any signs of aging until they are large enough to be noticeable. Moles that grow on the face, chest, back, or other areas normally aren’t malignant, but they can be confusing to doctors if they aren’t diagnosed immediately.
Types of skin cancer:
There are several different types of skin cancer, each of which has its characteristics, risks, and symptoms. Some of these include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed type of skin cancer and the third most dangerous. It usually develops in people who have a family history of this cancer, have their skin damaged by the sun, or by sunlight exposure over an extended period. This type of cancer usually develops in people who are twenty or thirty years of age or older.
Basal cell carcinoma is usually the least common, although it is the second most dangerous type of skin cancer. It usually develops in people who have fair skin or red hair and it does not have a family history of cancer. Melanomas are more commonly discovered in people who are younger than fifty years of age, especially those with light skin or reddish hair. However, malignant melanomas sometimes develop in older people as well.