Many people fear the words skin cancer, and with good reason as it the fastest growing type of cancer. In recent years it has surged past lung, prostate and breast cancers as the most common type. Even in the United States alone it is estimated that over a million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer each year.
Skin cancer is in essence a malignant growth in the epidermis layer of skin. The fact that a tumor of some sort grows makes it one of the more easily identifiable forms of cancer, and should be caught early enough to treat because of it. There are three main forms of skin cancer; basel cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Of the three types malignant melanoma is the most serious, and accounts for almost fifty thousand deaths around the world each year, this is in no small part due to the fact that it can spread to other bodily organs.
Basel cell carcinoma is normally identified by a small and smooth lump in the skin, and crusty red spots. Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms include a firm red lump. Both versions are relatively easy to treat although malignant melanoma does require surgery to remove discolored moles, as well as chemo and radiation treatments. Treatment though is not without dangers and is no guarantee that skin cancer will not return at some future date.
It is evident that there has been an increase in the number of cases of skin cancer being diagnosed in recent years. This has been put down to an increase in the number of people wishing to tan themselves in artificial booths and in the more natural surrounds of the hot holiday destinations. It should be fairly easy to reduce the numbers of diagnosed skin cancer, reversing trends back to the figures of even twenty years ago. It could happen with simple education and warning people about the dangers of ultraviolet radiation. The dangers of the sun can be easily avoided with the wearing of appropriate clothing and the use of sun screen.
Skin cancer has the possibility to become a major killer worldwide, and a great deal of education needs to occur in the next few years otherwise it could overtake many any other diseases as a major killer. Like many disease though it can be prevented to a large degree and as long as identified early enough it can be successfully treated.