Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Skin Cancer - How To Prevent It

Woman Examining Breast For Lumps

By Brian Moor

A cancer diagnosis is still a terrifying event in anyone's
life. It's easy to lose all hope and just give up then and
there, but it is important to keep in mind that the number
of cancer survivors has increased over the last few years,
and with proper treatment, it is possible to be one of them.

There are several types of cancer, and even in a smaller
subset such as skin cancer there's more than one type.

Skin cancer can take either the form of a carcinoma or
melanoma. As the name suggests, the melanoma is a form of
skin cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Melanomas can
metastasise (invade other parts of the body) unlike
carcinomas, but luckily are rarer than the other types of
skin cancer. The most common forms of skin cancer are basal
and squamous cell carcinomas.

So what are basal and squamous cells and melanocytes? The
epidermis (top layer of the skin) is composed of three types
of cells: Squamous cells - An upper layer of thin, flat
cells. Basal cells - Round cells just under the squamous
cells. Melanocytes - The makers of melanin, the pigment that
gives skin its colour.

Factors that increase the risk of skin cancer include having
fair skin, chronic inflammations or ulcers, scars or burns,
having had radiation therapy and being exposed to a lot of
either artificial (as in tanning booths) or natural UV rays.
Remember that just because one of the risk factors applies
to you, it doesn't mean that you will certainly get skin
cancer. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true and people
who don't show any of the risk factors may also get skin

One of the best ways of preventing skin cancer is by
minimizing damage to the skin through overexposure to
sunlight, so wearing sunscreen is recommended. Also, the
quicker a cancer is caught and treated, the higher the
chances of success. Skin cancer looks different depending on
which type it is, and a professional opinion can be
invaluable in diagnosing the disease in its early stages.

For those diagnosed with skin cancer, there are several
organizations out there that provide support and
information. An excellent source of information is the
National Cancer Institute, which has a comprehensive and
clear website, and reliable professionals available to
assist by telephone, email, post or chat.

Get the detailed case study of
( Skin cancer, how
to prevent of skin cancer,
( Symptoms of skin
cancer, Signs of skin cancer, Causes of skin cancer at

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