Skin cancer can be of two types – melanoma and nonmelanoma. The majority of skin cancer types is nonmelanoma, the most common being basal cell and squamous cell. If detected by doing mole check at early stages, these can be cured easily. Melanoma, on the other hand, is less common but more dangerous. If not diagnosed in the initial stages, this skin cancer can become as fatal as other cancers.
They metastasize as they reproduce and divide abundantly. In some cases, skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body and organs through the lymphatic system. The common cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV rays coming from the sun. Radiations from other sources such as tanning beds, solarium and environmental hazards can also cause skin cancer. These radiations damage the skin’s DNA making its growth abnormal and causing it to spread as cancerous cells.
Sunburn is the common cause of melanoma. People who take part in water sports or spend a lot of time outdoors like at the beach or doing BBQs in the open yard during summer are at great risk of melanoma skin cancer. Sunburn can also happen during cooler weather or cloudy days because the UV rays are not completely blocked out. Therefore, always wear a sunscreen in all kinds of weather.
Australians are more prone to sunburns and skin cancer because of the strong sun rays in the region. Some Australians consider tanning to be healthy but it can greatly damage the skin and lead to skin cancer. Tanning can also make the skin lose elasticity causing wrinkles and sagging around the eyes. Tanning can also make the skin discolor and might lead to formation of brown batches in some cases. Some beauty salons use solarium for artificial tanning. This is extremely dangerous for the skin, and Cancer Council Australia strongly advises against it.
People with light-colored skin, eyes or hair are also prone to skin cancer. The lighter the skin color, the less protection the skin has against harmful UV rays. Nonmelanoma is a rare condition for dark-skinned people, but melanoma is possible if care is not taken against harmful skin radiation. Age also plays a role when it comes to skin cancer. Adults over 50 are more at risk especially from nonmelanoma skin cancers at this age. Men are more prone to nonmelanoma cancer than women, but women under 50 are more susceptible to this type of skin cancer than men in the same age group.
Folks who live in warmer climate or higher elevation areas are more exposed to UV rays from the sun, and are more in danger of contracting melanoma skin cancer. People who work with arsenic or radioactive materials are also at risk of skin cancer. In some cases, a family history or weak immune system can also be a cause of skin cancer. Early detection of skin cancer can lead to successful treatment. However, people who develop skin cancer once are more at risk of contracting it again. Therefore, they should have annual checks and consult with their doctors if they see any changes in their skin.