Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer malignant cells are found in the outer layers of the skin. Your skin protects your body against heat, light, infection, and injury. The skin has two main layers and several kinds of cells. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis. It contains three kinds of cells: flat, squamous cells, basal cells, and cells called melanocytes. There are numerous types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancer, but it is far more dangerous than other skin cancers, and it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.
The most common sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won’t heal, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule or a small lump may also appear. This lump can be smooth, shiny and waxy looking, or it can be red or reddish brown. Skin cancer may also appear as a flat red spot that is rough or scaly. Skin cancer is more frequent in people with light colored skin who have spent a lot of time in the sunlight.
Sunburn and UV light can damage your skin, and this damage can lead to skin cancer. Skin cancer can occur anywhere on your body, but it is most common in places that have been exposed to more sunlight, such as your face, neck, hands, and arms. You are also at a higher risk of skin cancer if there is a history of skin cancer in your family.
Other sources of information for these topics.
The Skin Cancer Foundation
... May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Check out The Skin Cancer Foundation's ... A Message from Perry Robins, MD President of The Skin Cancer Foundation ...
Introduction to Skin Cancer
General information and links. Includes the UV index for several cities.
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