When it comes to healthcare, getting to know more about some diseases could help you identify them before they become irreversible, such is the case of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, which is the outermost skin layer, originated by unrepaired DNA damage that triggers mutations, leading the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. The main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
There are many causes of skin cancer, some of them can be hereditary and others can be caused by improper skin care habits, people are at higher risk of skin cancer than others, but anyone can get it. The two main causes of skin cancer are the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and using UV tanning beds. The bright side is that if skin cancer is caught early, your dermatologist can treat it with little or no scarring and high odds of eliminating it entirely. Very often doctors detect the growth at a precancerous stage before it has become a full-blown skin cancer or penetrated below the surface of the skin.
It is important to identify certain symptoms of skin cancer to treat them as soon as possible. A change in your skin is the most common sign of it, this could be a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in a mole, not all skin cancers look the same. Another thing you can do to prevent from developing skin cancer is protecting yourself from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.
Here are some important facts about this type of cancer:
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- In Mexico there are about one thousand cases of skin cancer per year.
- More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
- In Mexico since 2001, skin cancer is the second most frequent cancer in Mexico.
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
- When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%.
For more information about skin cancer be sure to visit skincancer.org a foundation created to empower people to take a proactive approach to daily sun protection and the early detection and treatment of skin cancer.