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Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer: Introduction

Skin cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin. Skin cancer is a common disease, and the incidence of skin cancer is growing faster than any other type of cancer due to the general increase in sunbathing.

Skin cancer is a general name for a group of cancers of the skin. Types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Malignant melanoma affects the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that color skin. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer because it can spread quickly to the rest of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that can also spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and affect the cells just beneath the surface of the skin. It does not spread as easily as malignant melanoma, and it is rare for it to become fatal.

Skin cancer often develops on areas of the body that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the face, ears, mouth, and back of the hands. However, malignant melanoma can develop even in places that are not exposed to sun.

The risk of developing skin cancer is higher in people who have experienced long-term exposure to the sun, had repeated sunburns or even just one bad sunburn in childhood. Skin cancer is also more likely in people who use tanning beds. Others at risk include those with a family history of skin cancer, people with fair skin, people who have who have multiple moles, or are middle-aged or older.

Symptoms of skin cancer include the appearance of abnormal areas of skin or abnormal-looking moles. Left untreated, some forms of skin cancer can spread dangerously to nearby lymph nodes and then to other areas of the body. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of skin cancer.

Diagnosis of skin cancer begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and an examination that focuses on the skin and the appearance of moles, freckles and lumps. An abnormal lump, lesion, or asymmetrical mole increases the suspicion of a diagnosis of skin cancer.

Confirming a diagnosis of skin cancer includes performing a biopsy of the mole, lump or area of skin suspected of skin cancer. This involves taking a sample of the suspicious area or removing the suspected mole or tumor to examine under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells.

Some cases of skin cancer may be hard to see with the naked eye because the cancer cells may be "hiding" within a mole or freckle. Because of this, seeking medical care and getting a diagnosis of the disease can be delayed. In some cases, skin cancer can resemble normal conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of skin cancer.

Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented by protecting children and adults from sunburn and excessive sun exposure. Treatment of skin cancer varies depending on a variety of factors, such as if the type of skin cancer and if cancer cells have spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of skin cancer. ...more »

Skin Cancer: Half of all new cancers are skin cancers, and more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Skin cancer ... more about Skin Cancer.

Skin Cancer: Cancer of the skin; the most common type of cancer. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Skin Cancer is available below.

Skin Cancer: Symptoms

Symptoms of skin cancer vary depending on the specific type of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma begins as a small lump that contains enlarged blood vessels and eventually develops onto an open sore or lesion. Basal cell carcinoma often develops on the face but can appear on any area that gets a lot of sun exposure.

Squamous cell carcinoma can appear lumps or ...more symptoms »

Skin Cancer: Treatments

The first step in the treatment of skin cancer is prevention. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid sunburn and sun exposure in both children and adults. Just getting one bad, blistering sunburn during childhood raises the risk of developing skin cancer.

Minimizing long-term damage to the skin and its cells and the development of skin cancer includes ...more treatments »

Skin Cancer: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be delayed or missed because some cases of skin cancers may not produce any change in skin color. In addition, abnormal areas of skin may not be easily visible, such as when skin cancer occurs on the back. Skin cancer may also grow within a previously existing and normal mole and may not be noticed promptly.

Some symptoms of skin cancer are ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

  • Increased risk of skin cancer
  • Symptoms of skin cancer:
  • Non-healing skin lesion
  • Crusted bleeding skin lesion that doesn't heal
  • Unusual mole
  • more symptoms...»

Treatments for Skin Cancer

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Skin Cancer:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer: Related Patient Stories

Skin Cancer: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Skin Cancer.

Alternative Treatments for Skin Cancer

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Skin Cancer may include:

Types of Skin Cancer

Rare Types of Skin Cancer:

Rare types of Skin Cancer include:

Causes of Skin Cancer

More information about causes of Skin Cancer:

Disease Topics Related To Skin Cancer

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Skin Cancer:

Skin Cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Skin Cancer

Spitz nevi misdiagnosed as dangerous melanoma skin cancer: One possible misdiagnosis to consider in lieu of melanoma is spitz nevi. See melanoma and spitz more »

Psoriasis often undiagnosed cause of skin symptoms in children: Children who suffer from the skin disorder called psoriasis can often go undiagnosed. The main problem is that psoriasis is rare more »

Skin Cancer: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Skin Cancer

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Skin Cancer:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Skin Cancer, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Skin Cancer: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Skin Cancer

Medical research articles related to Skin Cancer include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Skin Cancer: Animations

Prognosis for Skin Cancer

Prognosis for Skin Cancer: The prognosis is variable depending on the type of skin cancer. Most skin cancers have a good prognosis if they are detected and treated in a timely manner.

Research about Skin Cancer

Visit our research pages for current research about Skin Cancer treatments.

Clinical Trials for Skin Cancer

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Skin Cancer include:

Statistics for Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer: Broader Related Topics

Skin Cancer Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Skin Cancer, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Skin Cancer

Half of all new cancers are skin cancers, and more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. (Source: excerpt from Skin Cancer: NWHIC)

Definitions of Skin Cancer:

A malignant neoplasm of the skin - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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