Important Facts on Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Even though melanoma is the most lethal, it is not the most common type of skin cancer. If you want to take the best measures for prevention, you should learn more about the non-melanoma types as well. Find out the main things which you need to know about them.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is the most common type of skin cancer, according to statistical data. It affects the basal cells. These are the cells in the deepest layer of the skin. Even though the deepest layer is affected, there are visible abnormal growths which are the main symptoms of the condition.

Basal cell carcinoma can manifest itself in a number of different ways. These include open sores, which heal and then bleed again, reddish patches which show signs of skin irritation, a large bump or nodule which is irregularly shaped and has a shiny surface, a pink growth with slightly elevated roller border and a flat growth which resembles a scar.

The main cause of this condition is long-term exposure to UV radiation. It typically occurs in people over 50 years of age. The cancerous growth can get quite big, but the cancer is highly unlikely to spread to other parts and organs of the body.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This type of skin cancer is not as widely spread as basal cell carcinoma, but it is fairly common as well. It affects the cells in the upper layers of the skin. It can manifest itself in different ways. The possible symptoms include persistent scaly red patch with irregular borders, elevated growth with a depression in the centre with the depression bleeding occasionally, an open sore which keeps bleeding and crusting in cycles, growth which looks like a wart, but gets crusty and bleeds from time to time.

Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by frequent and persistent exposure to UV radiation. It is most likely to appear in the parts of the skin which are exposed to sunlight. Still, it may appear in the genital area as well. If the tumour is allowed to grow, this condition can be deadly.

Other Types

There are other less common types of non-melanoma cancer affecting the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma affects these particular cells and grows very quickly. It is caused by exposure to UV radiation. The most common symptom is a bump on the skin. It can be pink, red or purple. It may open or bleed.

If you notice any bothering symptoms which may signal non-melanoma skin cancer, you need to report them to a dermatologist immediately.

Children and Melanoma – What Parents Should Know

Skin cancer is becoming ever more common around the world with melanoma affecting a growing number of teenagers and young adults. In this situation, it is natural to ask yourself whether your children are at risk and how you can protect them. Find out everything which you need to know so that you can take the most effective preventive measures.

What Is the Risk?

Melanoma is quite rare in children from 0 to 18 years of age. It accounts for around 3% of all cases of cancer in children. At the same time, the number of youngsters affected by this condition is growing. A new study has revealed that over the past 35 years the number of kids diagnosed with this condition increased by 2% on an annual basis.

This study has shown that most of the children diagnosed with the condition were in their teenage years. Over 90% of all diagnosed patients were Caucasian. The most vulnerable group is considered to be that of the girls from the age of 15 to 19.

The most common cause of this and the other types of skin cancer is the frequent exposure to UV radiation for long hours. Children who have suffered from severe sunburn on more than one occasion and those who experience this problem frequently are at greater risk of developing the condition in the future. The same applies to children who use tanning beds and lamps. The danger which these tanning methods produce must be well understood. They are considered to be the main cause of melanoma in young girls including teenagers.

Prevention Measures

The measures which parents need to take are simple and will help to lower the risk of melanoma. The primary one is to keep their children in the shade when the sun is the strongest. Older children should be taught to stay out of the sun when their height exceeds the height of their shade.

When kids go outside they should wear sunscreen with SPF of 30 at least and preferably 50. Sunscreen has to be applied to all parts of the body and not only to the ones which are directly exposed to the sun. It should be applied even on cloudy days. It should be applied about 30 minutes before going out and every 2 hours afterwards if the child is in the water or plays actively. Kids should wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses when going out.

Last, but not least, you should check the skin of your child for any abnormal growths regularly and report them to a doctor immediately. Regular exams for melanoma are recommended for teens.

2 Activities Which Can Increase Your Skin Cancer Risk

In most countries around the world, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. The number of patients diagnosed with it is constantly growing. One of the major reasons for this is that people are not well aware of the factors which increase their risk of getting this condition. In addition to genetics and skin tone, there are other factors which can put you at higher risk. Among them, you will find activities which are enjoyed by most of us.

Indoor Tanning

The use of tanning beds is extremely widespread at present. Many people use them on a regular basis to get a darker complexion. This fashion is quite popular among young adults and young women, in particular. Many start to use tanning beds in their teen years.

The problem with tanning beds is that the UV light which they produce is about 15 times stronger than the sunlight outdoors. This means that it causes more damage to skin cells more quickly. As a result, the people who use tanning beds frequently are 74% more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest of all types of skin cancer, compared to those who have never done it. These people have 67% higher risk of squamous cell carcinoma and 29% higher risk of basal cell carcinoma.

Indoor tanning is considered to be the main cause of skin cancer in young people. A recent study has revealed that people who enjoy the activity regularly are 60% more likely to get this condition before the age of 50. Another study showed that over the past 40 years the rate of this condition in young adults increased by 800%. Much of this increase is attributed to the huge popularity of tanning beds.

Outdoor Sports

Professional and amateur athletes involved in outdoor sports are at higher risk of skin cancer due to several factors. The primary one is the long-term exposure to the sun’s UV radiation. The improper use of sunscreen can also play a role. While sunscreen provided protection, it is removed more quickly from the skin because of perspiration. That is why it has to be reapplied every 2 to 3 hours.

The athletes who practice high up in the mountain are exposed to stronger UV radiation. This means that they have to use sunscreen with higher SPF and sunglasses and hats which offer better protection. The athletes engaging in water sports require better protection as well due to the fact that the water acts like a magnifying for the sun while washing away the applied sunscreen.

Take the best protective measures to lower your risk of skin cancer.