What Is Skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It can be simply defined as the un-regulated growth of the cells of skin. Skin cancer can be categorized into many types. According to a health survey, around 1,000,000 cases (new) of skin cancer were recorded in USA only in the past year of 2008. From this fact it is clear that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of the cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and general type of the cancer of skin. It a cancer which develops very slowly and it is common in those patients who are above the age of 40. Basal cells are actually normal cells of the skin, but in Basal cell carcinoma these cells develop into the cancer cells. This cancer is common in that parts of human skin that are in direct exposure to the sun rays for a long period of time. People who have light colors of eyes and less hairs on skin are much more susceptible to this cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is also common in patients who are overexposed to the harmful X-rays.
Basal cell carcinoma spreads to the surrounding tissues only and it is not able to affect the distant parts of the living body. A skin lesion which has waxy appearance indicates the strike of Basal cell carcinoma. This skin-lesion could be light pink, brown or white in color and it may possess the visible blood vessels.

Another natural warning of skin cancer is the sore that is not healing from many days or simply a scare like lesion. If somebody is having a skin lesion then he must immediately consult a doctor to settle the doubt of skin cancer. Color, structure and size of skin lesion are some direct indicators which can be used for a casual diagnosis of the skin cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is another type of skin cancer. Usually it occurs in the middle layer of the skin. This type of skin cancer is much more aggressive then “Basal cell carcinoma”, as it is able to spread to various other parts of the living body. It is more frequent in elder people (after the age of 50) as compared to the young adults.

Melanoma is the third type of skin cancer. It is not a common type of cancer but it is much more dangerous then any other type of skin cancer. There are four different types Melanoma, and they are classified in different categories depending upon the age group of the affected people and depending upon the parts of the body where this cancer occurs. Removal of some types of Melanoma requires surgical treatment, but more severe types of Melanoma require chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

To avoid the occurrence of skin cancer, on should avoid long term exposures of strong sun rays. Some suitable sunscreens (having SPF of 15 or more) should be used. In hotter regions, sunglasses and hats should be used. It has been proved that some regions of world are not under protection of ozone layer (some parts of Australia, Antarctica etc); people should avoid working and living in these zones.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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