An Introduction To Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is defined as ‘a malignant neoplasm of the skin’. The most common cancer, the risk of skin cancer affects a large cross section of the population, most notably those that have fair skin and freckles.

Cancer consists of more than 100 diseases. Each type of cancer is different to other types in many ways although all cancers are a disease of some of the cells in the body.


Those cells that are healthy and constitute the body’s tissue grow before dividing and replacing themselves. This is how the body grows, keeps itself healthy and in good repair.

Skin CancerHowever some of these cells can lose their capability to perform these tasks restraining their growth and development.

They may divide themselves too quickly or grow without order. Some times too much tissue can be produced, resulting in tumors being formed.

Tumors may be benign or malignant.

Benign Tumors

Benign tumors are not cancer. They do not spread to the rest of the body and are not life threatening.

These type of tumors are often removed via surgery and usually do not return. They are often more of a nuisance than anything else.

Malignant Tumors

Malignant tumors are cancerous. They cause illness to the body by invading and destroying the close by healthy tissues and organs.

By the way of disseminating or metastasizing to other organs, they can form new tumors in the body.

One of the most common cancers in the world today is skin cancers, or more precisely, there are three forms of cancer of the skin, as there are 3 main types of skin cancer.

How to Protect From Skin Cancer

To most easily prevent your chance of getting this disease, it’s important to take the proper precautions when exposing yourself to the sun. When possible, wear clothing that is tightly woven to avoid the suns rays.

A loose fit on your clothes is another way to make sure that as few rays are possible to reach your skin. Dark colored clothing is also known to help ward off ultra-violet rays, so all of these precautions should be taken when you are planning to be in the sun for an extended period of time.

Sunscreens for Skin Cancer

Also, it is crucial to wear sun screen when exposing your body to the sun’s rays. An SPF value of at least 15 is recommended for those who wish to sun themselves without significantly increasing their risk of developing skin cancer.

Also, do your best to avoid exposing yourself to the sun’s rays between 10 AM and 3 PM . These are the hours of the day in which the sun produces the most UV rays, and avoiding sun during these hours is recommended to decrease your likelihood of skin cancer.

Your lips should also be protected with an SPF lip balm, since the risk of lip cancer is increased by too much sun exposure. Sunglasses can also be a good idea; they help you to avoid getting too much exposure to the sun on your eyelids, which are sensitive layers of skin which can develop skin cancer just the same as the rest of your body.

Types of Skin Cancer

  • Rodent Ulcer or Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Malignant Melanoma

A carcinoma is the term used to describe a cancer that begins in the cells that cover or line an organ. The most common, and least dangerous is a so called rodent ulcer, or basal cell carcinoma, followed by the skin cancer called Squamous cell carcinoma and finally we have what I would consider to be the most well known form of skin cancer, which while it is the most lethal is also the rarest; malignant melanoma.

Basel cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinomas are often called nonmelanoma skin cancer. A melanoma is another type of cancer that can occur in the skin, which begins in the melanocytes.

Rarest Skin Cancer – Malignant Melanoma

Although malignant melanoma is the rarest, because it is the deadliest, it is worth having a quick look at what it is. This cancer that is accountable for about 1 per cent of cancers is a tumor in the cells that produce melanin, the melancytes. In case you wanted to know, melanin is the pigment that gives you your sun tan, and gives your skin the color it has normally. It is also responsible for the color of your eyes and your hair, which means that malignant melanoma, can not only affect the eyes but also the skin.

Melanoma accounts for a full 75% of all skin cancer cases which result in death. If melanoma is diagnosed while in an early stage, treatment can be very simple and the risk of death is low. However, the longer you wait, the more exponential the risk of death grows.

Exposure to Sun Leads to Skin Cancer

It is very clear that it is the sun that is causing the problems as the number of people with skin cancer varies depending on country, the tropical countries with large Caucasian populations having the utmost incidents of skin cancer. (misdiagnosis of cancer)

Countries like Australia , South Africa and southern American states with a lot of sunshine and Caucasian population have skin cancer incidences that are directly proportionate with the amount of sunlight and size of the Caucasian population.

 Darker skin types like those of us with an African American or Asian background get better protection against the sunlight because of their darker skin coloring.

Ultra Violet Light for Skin Cancer

The ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun is the prime cause for skin cancer. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation – UVA and UVB. There are also artificial sources of UV radiation, for example sun beds and tanning booths which can also cause skin cancer. These rays are all fundamentally bad for pale skin, and predominantly babies and children are very much at risk since they have thinner skin than adults.

The location where a person lives affects the risks of a person developing skin cancer. Some people live in areas where they get high levels of UV radiation and are more likely to develop skin cancer. For example the Texas sun is particularly strong. There are also high rates of skin cancer found in South Africa and Australia where the population receive high amounts of the sun’s radiation.

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