Skin cancer is a serious disease but most of the time its seriousness is underestimated by many people. One of the reasons is because this type of cancer affects the skin and not an internal organ. People should know that skin cancer is a very serious disease and if ignored can have devastating effects including death.
Skin cancer when detected early is very treatable. Statistics reveals that 99% of skin cancers can be treated and cured when detected early on and handled correctly. This is indeed great news but sadly this fact also give people the impression that skin cancer is not that serious at all. People should not ignore any signs of abnormalities on their skin rather this information should make people realize that early detection of skin cancer is very crucial.
Let’s learn more about skin cancer.
The major cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV light over time. Who is at a higher risk of developing skin cancer? If you have been exposing yourself to UV light from outdoors or via tanning booths, your chances of getting skin cancer is higher. People having suppressed immune systems including those who have received organ transplants are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. If you are wondering why, the answer is simply because their immune systems are too weak to fight the development of cancerous cells.
Are There Types of Skin Cancer?
There are numerous types of skin cancer. However, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are the most common. These 3 types of skin cancer make up 99% of cases.
- Melanoma – This is the deadliest type of skin cancer. More than 75% of all deaths related to skin cancer is caused by melanoma. Melanoma commonly resembles a mole that is either sporting a brown or black color. If melanoma is detected early, treatment is usually successful. However once melanoma has started spreading to other parts of the body, your chances of beating melanoma are greatly reduced.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – This type of skin cancer develops right below the skin’s surface. Often times, squamous cell carcinoma develops in areas of the skin that have been exposed to UV light but it can also develop in other parts of the body. At first it resembles a patch of skin that appears to be thick, rough and scaly. Squamous cell carcinoma may not be as deadly as melanoma but it can spread and also become life-threatening.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma – This is the most common type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer starts at the basal cells, hence the name. Basal cells are found just beneath the skin’s surface. This type of skin cancer can look like a shiny bump or an area of the skin that looks reddish and irritated. One symptom is also a sore throat that does not heal completely. Basal cell carcinoma’s progress is slower than the other kinds of skin cancer however it is still important to detect it early so that spreading is prevented.