Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. There are different types of this disease. The two most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Melanoma, another type, is less common, but more dangerous. Nearly 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and it causes 8,700 deaths. Melanoma is now twice as common as it was two decades ago. The increase is so dramatic that the U.S. Surgeon General has issued a call to action to take steps to prevent melanoma.

One way to protect yourself from skin cancer is by protecting your skin from getting too much of the sun's ultraviolet light. It's especially important to avoid getting sunburned, as this increases the risk of melanoma. Using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing, including a hat with a brim, are good ways to do this.

While sun protection is important for adults, it's even more important for children. Most of the average American's sun exposure happens before age 18. Even a couple of blistering sunburns in childhood increase the risk of later skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Articles

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Sarcomas are a type of cancer that develops from the soft tissues (fleshy parts) of the body, as well as from bone and fatty tissue. This type of cancer is different from carcinomas. Carcinomas develop more frequently in the body's organs, especially those organs that contain glands. Examples of carcinomas include lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer that forms in the skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles attach to bones. They help the body move. Most rhabdomyosarcomas occur in children and teenagers. Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur anywhere in the body. It typically appears in the arms, legs, head and neck, bladder, reproductive organs, chest, and abdomen. Rhabdomyosarcoma can spread to other organs. (Locked) More »

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

A sarcoma is a cancer that develops from particular tissues, such as muscle or bone. In contrast, most cancers develop from organs that contain glands, such as the breast, colon, prostate and lung, among others. There are two types of sarcoma: osteosarcoma, which develops from bone, and soft tissue sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcoma can arise from muscle, fat, nerves, cartilage, or blood vessels. Cancerous tumors can develop when abnormal cells in these tissues multiply and grow out of control. Scientists do not yet fully understand why these cells become abnormal. However, most cancers are thought to develop due to genetic changes (mutations). The tumor is named based on the type of tissue it resembles. For example, a soft tissue sarcoma that looks like fat is called a liposarcoma; a tumor that looks like fibrous tissue is called a fibrosarcoma. If a soft tissue sarcoma resembles more than one type of tissue, its name will reflect its complex appearance. For example, a neurofibrosarcoma develops in the fibrous tissue surrounding a nerve. A soft tissue sarcoma that doesn't look like any normal tissue is undifferentiated or unclassified. (Locked) More »

On the spot

People who are diligent about sun protection can still develop skin spots, growths, or other abnormalities. While most spots and growths are benign, people should monitor anything new for two weeks to a month. If it’s still there, or has evolved in any way, like changes in size or colors, then get it checked by a dermatologist. More »

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin

Squamous cells are small, flat skin cells in the outer layer of skin. When these cells become cancerous, they typically develop into flat or raised, rounded skin tumors. Sometimes the skin around the tumors gets red and swollen. Most cases of squamous cell carcinoma occur in people who have spent lots of time in the sun—especially those with fair skin and blue eyes. Some cases develop on skin that has been injured or exposed to cancer-causing agents. This type of squamous cell cancer can develop on: Scars, burns, and long-lasting ulcers (Locked) More »

Stay ahead of skin cancer

About 58 million people have at least one actinic keratosis (AK), a precancerous skin growth caused by too much sun exposure. Yet, most people don’t see the potential danger of these lesions because they are small, with few if any annoying symptoms, and can go away almost as fast as they appear. Still, people need to watch out for AKs and get the appropriate treatment from a dermatologist because if left alone, they can turn into squamous cell skin cancer, the second most common type of skin cancer. (Locked) More »

Is your sunscreen safe?

A study found that sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into the body, prompting the FDA to recommend further study to ensure that they are safe. In the meantime, people are not advised to change their sunscreen practices. Protecting the skin from the sun should involve not only sunscreen, but also other measures, such as wearing sunglasses, hats, and other protective clothing. (Locked) More »

Zinc oxide shows no link to skin damage

Zinc oxide (ZO) is one of the most effective ingredients in sunscreen to protect against damaging rays. New research has found that ZO nanoparticles don’t penetrate the skin or damage skin on a cellular level from repeated applications. More »