Your health concern over skin cancer is justified because it’s the most prevalent forms of cancer. This blurb is a quickie about the types of skin cancer, its cause and risks.
Basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer are the most common types of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most dangerous type, yet far less common. And Kaposi’s sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous lymphoma are skin cancer types as well.
Skin cancer, like all other cancers, is uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. DNA controls cell growth. So, the fundamental cause for cancer’s unbridled growth is a DNA issue, as in damage or mutation.
What keeps many damaged DNA and mutations from causing cancer is your body’s natural repair and control mechanisms. In addition, your immune system has the ability to recognize and dispose of abnormal cells before they evolve into cancer.
Why some develop skin cancer and others do not isn’t completely sorted out yet. However, some factors have been associated with its cause or an increased risk, including:
- over age 50
- actinic keratosis
- radiation therapy
- skin scars, burns
- prior skin cancers
- previous sunburns
- low pigmented skin
- certain HPV infections
- excessive sun exposure
- sunny climate, high altitude
- family history of skin cancer
- many moles, dysplastic nevi
- specific type of gene mutations
- chronic skin inflammation, skin ulcers
- repetitive medical, industrial x-ray exposure
- sunlamps, tanning beds, tanning booths use
- certain compound exposure ~ coal tar, arsenic
- weak immune system ~ other cancers, leukemia, HIV
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes DNA damage. And it is considered a pervasive cancer causing agent. The major source of radiation comes from the sun.
As for treatment, it varies a bit based on the type of skin cancer you have.
If you’re the least bit suspicious about a spot of skin, have your health care person check it out.