Skin Cancer

As the external covering of the human body, the skin is the first line of defense against potentially harmful substances. However, not all people are aware that the conditions they expose their skin to, when done on a regular basis, are cumulative to the likelihood of skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer prevailing in the world today. Everyone is at the risk of skin cancer because everyone is exposed to the harmful substances that cause it. Skin cancer is the later stage of any disorder or any wound on the body of the person and can be detected from the physical appearance and condition of the skin. Skin cancer is not the deadliest of the cancers and can be cured if diagnosed in time even though surgery may be needed in some case. The factors that trigger skin cancer are almost unavoidable for the person as their presence is required for the individual, for example, the environment in which a person lives.

Cancer is any condition that arises from the abnormal cell division in the body. There are instances when the body produces an excessive amount of cells, often when they are not needed. These unwanted cells compete with healthier cells for nutrition, and they spread uncontrollably to other parts of the body, impeding the normal functioning of some organs. Such type of growth is called a tumor, which can either be benign, or malignant. Malignant tumors are causes for alarm, because they are more likely to progress into cancer. Skin cancer occurs when this abnormal division of skin cells begins to form lesions on the skin, damaging the elasticity of the body covering and weakening its ability to defend the body.
Technical Terminologies

The National Cancer Institute explains that skin cancer can be classified into two types: basal cell skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer. These conditions vary in the hierarchy of their dangerousness and the potential risk they may impose on the skin of the person inflicted by them. However, both conditions are likely to occur in parts of the body that are under frequent exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

These two conditions are the relatively less dangerous and can be cured more easily. However, squamous cell skin cancer can spread beyond the skin, and affect lymph nodes. This problem further compromises the body’s immune defense system.

Another condition is Melanoma. This is dangerous as this has the ability to spread very quickly throughout the body of the person. Skin cancer can be detected by the symptoms shown on the skin i.e. if there is new order on the skin or if there is a sore that is not healing for a long time.


Who are the persons more likely to get skin cancer? Studies have determined how heredity adds up in the equation, so when skin cancer has occurred in the family before, there is a possibility of a person getting the same condition. Also, people with light skin and hair color are susceptible, because they have less pigment substances in their skin for protection. Other hazards that may be harmful aside form too much sun exposure are: frequent exposure to tanning lamps, pitch, tar, coal, and chemicals like radium and arsenic.

Sunburn and Sunlight

Sunburn and over exposure to the sunlight affects the skin and increases the threat of skin cancer. Sunlight tends to damage the skin of a person. It is not caused when one is exposed to the harmful rays of the sun first time; rather it is caused when a person is continuously over exposed to sunlight. Skin cancer is a slow process and takes a lot of time to develop.

Skin cancer, is also genetic in origin, for some persons, as it has been observed to be more common among families with a history of skin conditions.

Environment is another reason of the skin cancer. For example, the amount of ultraviolet rays is increasing in the environment and this has bad affect on the skin.


Skin cancer is very slow process and takes time to develop. It may take many years to develop fully and show up itself at a later point of time. A problem in the skin which may seem very simple may lead to skin cancer in many years time, by slowly infecting the body of person with the disease.

Symptoms of skin cancer are often similar to other skin disorders. But when a lesion or a new growth on the skin surface is observed, especially when the size increases over time, a dermatologist should be consulted. There may also be reddish patches on the skin that may range from pink to some shiny areas that are prone to bleeding. Some patches of skin may develop firm bumps, or crusty areas that are scaly and itchy. To treat the condition, the patches of affected skin may be removed with surgery.

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