June 01, 2018 / By Dr. Sam Leilabadi, MD
As many people are spending more time outside to enjoy the warm weather, it’s important to be mindful of harmful radiation that can cause skin cancer.
What is skin cancer?
In the United States, more than one million people are diagnosed with a form of skin cancer each year. Skin cancer generally takes place when abnormal cells multiply in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) or when abnormal cells from the epidermis invade the inner layer of skin (dermis). There are two major categories: non-melanoma skin cancers and melanoma. Melanoma is fast-spreading and the most severe of skin cancers.
Melanoma mainly develops in sun exposed areas, including the scalp, face, neck, arms, hands, lips and ears, but it can form in other areas, too.
Most skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) light emitted naturally by the sun’s powerful rays and from tanning beds and sunlamps. Other causes include exposure to toxic substances such as arsenic.
Although symptoms vary depending on the type of skin cancer, look for these warning signs:
If you notice any changes to your skin, be sure to inform your doctor immediately.
Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Make sure to protect yourself with the following suggestions:
If found early, melanoma can be treated effectively. Most non-melanoma cancers can be cured if detected and treated early.