Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but it is more common in people who

  • Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned
  • Have light-colored skin, hair and eyes
  • Have a family member with skin cancer
  • Are over age 50

You should have your doctor check any suspicious skin markings and any changes in the way your skin looks. Treatment is more likely to work well when cancer is found early. If not treated, some types of skin cancer cells can spread to other tissues and organs. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and biologic therapy. PDT uses a drug and a type of laser light to kill cancer cells. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

The following features are indicative of Skin Cancer:
  • change in an existing mole
  • pigmented or unusual-looking growth on the skin
It is possible that Skin Cancer shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Skin Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Skin Cancer:
  • exposure to ultraviolet radiation

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Skin Cancer:
  • fair skin
  • history of sunburn
  • excessive ultraviolet light exposure
  • living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation
  • having many moles or unusual moles
  • history of melanoma
  • weakened immune system

Prevention of Skin Cancer

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Skin Cancer. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoiding sun during the middle of the day
  • using the sunscreen for protection
  • wearing protective clothing
  • avoiding tanning lamps and beds

Occurrence of Skin Cancer

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Skin Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Skin Cancer most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-35 years

Common Gender

Skin Cancer can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Skin Cancer:
  • Skin examination: Skin exam from head-to-toe
  • Biopsy: To diagnose the melanoma
  • Sentinel node biopsy: To determine whether the melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes

Doctor for Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Skin Cancer:
  • Dermatologist
  • Oncologist

Complications of Skin Cancer if untreated

It is not know if Skin Cancer causes complications if left untreated.

Procedures for Treatment of Skin Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Skin Cancer:
  • Surgery: To remove the affected lymph nodes
  • Chemotherapy: To destroy cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy: To kill the cancer cells
  • Biological therapy: To help the body fight cancer

Self-care for Skin Cancer

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Skin Cancer:
  • Avoid sun during the middle of the day: Protect from the harmful UV radiations
  • Use sunscreen: Provides protection against harmful radiations
  • Wear protective clothing: Provides more protection against the rays
  • Avoid tanning lamps and beds: Decreases the risk of skin cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Skin Cancer

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Skin Cancer:
  • Intake vitamins and supplements: Reduces the effects of melanoma

Patient Support for Treatment of Skin Cancer

The following actions may help Skin Cancer patients:
  • Support groups: Boosts the confidence in the patients
  • Talk to your closed ones: Relieves the stress

Time for Treatment of Skin Cancer

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Skin Cancer to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Skin Cancer.
Skin Conditions
Sun Exposure

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