Sunday, February 17, 2008

Skin Cancer - Symptoms, Facts And Treatment

Skin Cancer - Symptoms, Facts And Treatment Peter Sams

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer. Skin cancers are a rapidly growing portion of all cancers diagnosed each year. It is believed that increased sun exposure and a decreased ozone layer are a major cause of this phenomenon. This guide is designed to show you the common "warning" signs of skin cancer and to show pictures of cancer and pre-cancerous skin abnormalities. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Melanoma may be cured if caught and treated early, but if left untreated the majority of melanomas eventually spread to other parts of the body. The key to skin cancer control is prevention, followed by early diagnosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can be found early, and both doctors and patients play important roles in finding skin cancer. If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor.

• any change on the skin, especially in the size or color of a mole or other darkly pigmented growth or spot, or a new growth

• scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule

• the spread of pigmentation beyond its border such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark

• A change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness, or pain.

Skin Cancer Facts

More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure: The UV rays of the sun are responsible for non-melanoma skin cancers. Unprotected exposure to these rays can be from being outdoors, tanning booths, and even through your car or home windows.

There's no doubt about it: Tanning--and any kind of long-term sun exposure--can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancer develops when skin cells mutate, grow out of control and overwhelm healthier cells. It comes in two forms- Melanoma and Non-melanoma Melanomas are much more likely to be fatal, but both can be confused with harmless moles and other discoloration.

A recent survey of parents of children under 12 years found that approximately 43% of white children experienced at least one sunburn in the past year. As a result of the growing concern about the importance of minimizing UV exposure during childhood and the rising incidence of skin cancer.

Skin is susceptible to damage even under clothing. While covering up is still an effective way to prevent overexposure, a white cotton T-shirt blocks only about 80 percent of rays.

Treatment

The main treatment for skin cancer is Surgery for most people this will be all the treatment you need.Radiotherapy can also be used to treat and cure skin cancers.

This is sometimes used instead of surgery if an operation is not suitable for any reason. It can also be given after surgery to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy tablets or injections are only used in certain circumstances for skin cancer. More often, chemotherapy creams are used

• To treat actinic keratosis

• For skin cancers that are only on the top layer of the skinPhotodynamic Therapy: One of the innovative Cancer Treatment Centers of America facilities offers a promising new treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT).

PDT is a two-step procedure that is done on an outpatient basis. You will be injected with a light-activated drug (Photofrin), which targets cancerous cells. Approximately 24-48 hours later, a laser light is directed onto tumor cells, exposing the cancerous tissue to a certain spectrum of light.

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