Skin cancer is on the rise and melanoma is the deadliest one of its kind. Research has shown that too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation or UV rays is the major contributing factor.
However, even one real bad sun exposure in childhood could set the stage for a grim adulthood.
It may sound too harsh, but one may choose to stay out of the sun altogether.
Sun damage could be a slow process, but it builds up one day at a time until it's too late.
You need to learn all you can about sun protection and how it can prolong your skin's health.
There are 3 kinds of skin cancers at the top of the list:
• Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
• Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Even though all three are very dangerous, but melanoma is the most dangerous and deadliest if not detected early.
In other words, melanoma has a high cure rate if caught early on and removed completely.
Mohs skin-cancer surgery is an advanced method for removing melanoma.
UV rays pouring down from the sun or tanning beds cause Melanoma by indirect DNA damage.
This means the UVA penetrates the human skin deep and damages the natural order of the molecules.
This leads to molecules reacting in a random manner with DNA and therefore move around like headless chickens.
Actually there is nothing funny about these so called free radicals which are in fact very dangerous to our health.
So if the melanoma is detected early, the free radicals may be stopped also dead in their tracks.
Otherwise, they could start spreading which is called metastasizing. That's when the cure is much harder if any, because it could have spread to any organ in the body such as the brain.
Melanoma due to free radicals can happen even inside the body in organs or places where there has been no direct sun or UV exposure.
Sometimes the melanoma cells can be caught by the lymph nodes which are the body's filtering stations. Then the lymph node might enlarge and require surgery for its removal.
Thereafter, Chemotherapy may be needed at that stage.
However, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma occur only in places with direct sunlight exposure such as the skin.
They are both caused by UVB rays which result in direct DNA damage.
Symptoms could be a spot or a sore that does not heal and might even bleed or become scaly.
So it's absolutely urgent matter to see a dermatologist right away to remove any moles or lesions that are changing in shape, size, color or thickness.
This could save your life,
You might see the advice mentioned above in more than one shape or form on this sight. This is not accidental, because it can not be emphasized enough.
If there are any suspicious skin moles, lesions or growths anywhere on your body, you should see a Dermatologist right away.
If you have to go thru your General Practitioner, I would ask for a referral to a Dermatologist. Remember to have your scalp, ears and between your toes checked too.
Dermatologists who specialize in surgery and removal of cancerous lesions or moles are even better.
They are experts in the field of Dermatology which includes skin disease prevention, diagnosis and removal of skin cancer .
Dermatologist would raze off any thing suspicious from the skin and send it to a pathologist. The pathologist will run some tests to see whether it's malignant or not.
Malignant is the opposite of benign. A benign lab result is good, but a malignant one is cancerous.
As mentioned in our Human Skin page, the outer layer of the skin is called the Epidermis. In fact that's where most skin cancers occur.
Therefore they are easily seen and detectable. Of course you will have to use a mirror to see the back of your body and between the legs.
Monthly self examination of the skin is a must. You should also make a diagram of your skin and map down any existing moles or lesions.
This way any changes can be tracked later. Also, if you are a good photographer a digital photo album of the skin might be worth a thousand words.
Life Saving Tips:
• Early detection is vital to survival
• Avoid sun exposure and suntan by all means
• Repeat, Stay out of the sun to reduce your UV exposure as well
• Check your moles and know your ABCDE
• Watch out for oozing or scaly moles
• See a Dermatologist once a year or immediately if in doubt
• See an ophthalmologist once a year to check inside your eyes too
• Never postpone your appointments, everyday counts
• The thicker the mole or lesion gets the higher the risk
• Practice sun protection daily
• Wear sun protection clothing and hat
• Apply broad spectrum UVA UVB organic sunscreen
• Apply lip balm with SPF rating of 30 or higher
• Stay away from high altitudes such as mountain tops
• A dose of tomatoes will increase your Lycopene intake which may or may not reduce the chance of getting skin cancer
Preventing skin cancer and avoiding a sun tan are the smartest ways by which you can prolong your healthy life style.
There are other factors that could contribute to having skin cancer such as genes, or the color of the hair and skin.
For more information about skin cancer, check the following informative articles: