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OTHER ITA SITES:
Whenever we hear the word Ďcancerí we are apt to panic. The term itself has become an umbrella for many different forms of the disease including skin cancer.
Skin cancer is a form of caner that affects the skin. There are several different types of skin cancer and some forms are more dangerous than others.
The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Both of these types of skin cancer can be serious in terms of changing the appearance of the skin affected, but they are not likely to spread to any surrounding tissue in the body.
Another type of skin cancer that is considered more serious is malignant melanoma. In terms of occurrence, this type of skin cancer is rarer than the others. However when it does occur early treatment is mandatory to ensure the greatest chance of survival.
Skin cancer has become much more common in recent years. This is mainly due to the fact that medical research has indicated that exposure to the damaging rays of the sun can increase a personís chances of getting the disease, considerably.
Before the advent of all of the sun screens that offer UV protection, many people would sit in the sun for hours. Sun bathing was very popular and people would sit exposed to the sun rays oblivious to the fact that they might be setting themselves up for a case of skin cancer later in life.
Research now suggests that each time a person receives sunburn or even a dark suntan they are increasing their risk of developing skin cancer by 50%. This is troubling to people who enjoyed basking in the sun when they were young.
There are some things that a person can do to treat skin cancer early. One is to be aware of any and all markings on your body. This means regularly checking your skin, including your back, for any new growths or changes in moles. If you notice any ulcers on the skin that do not heal or any discoloration of the skin itís wise to seek out a professional opinion.
In the case of basal cell carcinoma, the skin cancer will appear as a raised bump on the skin. Although not reddish in color, in some cases you will be able to see blood vessels within the growth. If you are suffering from squamous cell carcinoma than the growth will be reddish in color; it may also be in the form of an ulcer which doesnít heal.
The most serious form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, has a brownish or black color to them. Quite often they appear and you might consider it to be a new mole. Itís important to realize that new moles do not grow on adults and if you notice a new growth that is dark in color it is most likely skin cancer.
Another indication that you have this most serious form of skin cancer is that an existing mole has changed. The shape of color of it may be different and in this case itís important that you seek out medical treatment as soon as possible.
The minor forms of skin cancer normally require treatment by surgery. The affected area is removed during a surgical procedure. If you have a minor skin cancer your oncologist will explain the procedures and the risks involved to you.
If the skin cancer has gone untreated or you are suffering from malignant melanoma, the treatment is significantly different. Skin cancer in this situation may have spread to surrounding organs or into the lymphatic system.
Your oncologist is the person who is best qualified to explain and discuss all treatment options with you.
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