The Most Common Cancer…Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a growth on the skin that occurs when cells grow abnormally. Skin cancer occurs most commonly on areas of the skin, like the neck, arms, and face, which are exposed to the extreme sun or extended lengths of sun light exposure. Skin cancer can become a major health issue if it goes unchecked. If you do let the growths go unchecked, they can spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream or lymphatic system. It is essential to address any abnormal or unusual growths on the skin as soon as they are detected to prevent a potentially life threatening form of cancer. Dr. Amy Vaughan Dermatology can help you determine if any abnormal or unusual growths on your skin could be skin cancer and help in the treatment of skin cancer.
Types of Skin Cancer
About half of all skin cancer cases are a type of Non-melanoma. This includes Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). These types of cancerous cells usually appear on the surface areas of the body that are frequently exposed to sunlight. These types of cancer rarely spread to other parts of the body, are very curable if they are discovered early.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, and is less common than BCC and SCC. Melanoma begins in the pigmentation cells of the skin, and is more common in fair skinned people, those who have suffered severe sunburns, and those with a high number of moles. Melanoma can be treated if caught early.
Preventing Skin Cancer
Limiting sun exposure and consistently using sunscreen can reduce the risk for both types of skin cancer. Using sunscreen, sun-protective clothing, and avoiding sun exposure at peak daylight hours between 10 am and 4 pm are good preventative measures. Sunglasses, brimmed hats, and reapplying sunscreen are important anytime you are outdoors, even on overcast days. Artificial Ultraviolet light sources, such as tanning beds, are also risk factors.