Skin Cancer Facts

Skin cancer is not only among the most deadly types of cancer, but the most widespread cancer diagnosed throughout the United States. In fact, skin cancer is more widespread compared to breast, lung and prostate cancers combined. Nearly all cases of skin cancer are attributed to the damaged skin cells owing to excessive exposure to the sun. Hence, to a great extent it is possible to prevent the occurrence of this deadly disease.

In order to understand the disease as well as the threat posed by it, we need to know a few basic facts. Basically, skin cancer can be of three types - basal cell carcinoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Among these, melanoma is of the most serious type.

The risk of developing skin cancer increases two fold when you have five or additional sunburns during your lifetime. On the other hand, single bad sunburn is enough to increase the risk of melanoma twice. As high as 90 percent incidences of skin cancer is caused due to exposure to the sun. It may be either sporadic or constant exposure to the sun.

Incidentally, skin cancer is not a very common disease among the Latinos, African Americans and Asians. However, this does not mean it is not dangerous for them. In fact, this disease is deadlier among these communities, as very often they are diagnosed with skin cancer at a very late stage.

Many of you may be using tanning beds, but remember they are never safe. In fact, people below 35 face increased chances of developing melanoma, almost by 75 percent, when they expose themselves to tanning beds. It is not only the risk of developing melanoma. It has been found that people who use tanning beds face 2.5 times more risks of developing squamous cell carcinoma, while the chances of developing basal cell carcinoma increases 1.5 times for such people.

Findings of studies have revealed that even using tanning beds occasionally can increase the risk of melanoma three fold.

As many as 30 million people generally use tanning booths every year. Among them, 2.3 million users are teenagers, who face the highest risks of having damaged skin.

Contrary to the concept of "safe" tan or even "base" tan, nothing like these actually exist. Going for either of these does not help to put off further damage to your skin owing to successive exposures.

Suntans as well as sunburns are both caused when the skin cells are damaged. Consequently, such damaged cells may cause skin cancer, pre-carcinogenic conditions and also premature aging.

In order to prevent any damage to your skin from exposure to sun, you should essentially exercise safety and also instil them in your children at a very early age. Moreover, you must also learn your skin and scrutinize it carefully every month. Check with your physician immediately if you notice any changes in an already present mole, such as difference in size, color, border or irregularity, or find any new mole emerging.

People who have fair complexion face the maximum risk of developing various types of skin cancer. However, this does not suggest that other people should pay no heed to their skin's health or ignore sun safety. The fact is that people belonging to any ethnicity or race can develop this deadly form of cancer.

Provided skin cancer is diagnosed in its early stage, the chances of curing the condition is more than 95 percent. Hence, it is important to remain alert about the health of your skin and also to examine it regularly. These are essential to ensure that you do not damage your skin or develop any form of skin cancer.