Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of skin cells, is most common cancer in the world, and accounts for 75 percent of all cancer diagnoses. It is three times more common in men than women and the risk increases with age. Factors such as your geographical location, race, and family history up your risk of developing skin cancer. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 54 but cancers in general are appearing more often in younger individuals.
Melanoma and non melanoma are the two categories of skin cancers. Melanoma is a tumor of melanin forming cells that can start as a mole or a birthmark and most commonly appears first on extremities, back, or chest. It occasionally appears under a toenail or fingernail, sole of the feet, palm of the hand, and in the mucus linings of the vagina, anus, eye, and mouth. It is an aggressive and life threatening form of cancer that can be treated if detected early. Due to melanoma being a fast moving disease, once it affects other organs, it is very difficult to treat. Non melanoma is all the types of cancer that occurs in the skin that are not melanoma including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are the two most common skin cancers. They are seldomly life threatening and are usually treatable. Basal cell carcinoma accounts for three out of four skin cancers and grows slow, while squamous cell carcinoma is more aggressive and more inclined to spread. There are a few other rare non melanomas such as Kaposi’s sarcoma. It is life threatening, identified as purple growths, and is mainly seen in the elderly or individuals with AIDS.
Skin cancer is rising but there steps to take to prevent it such as limiting exposure to ultraviolet rays. If diagnosed, most skin cancers can be cured through early detection and treatment.