Shed­ding light on the topic of skin cancer

Record Observer - - Senior Satellite - By GLEN R. GIB­SON, MD

As the weather gets nice and you be­gin to spend more time out­doors, it’s im­por­tant to keep the health of your skin in mind. Skin cancer is the most com­mon cancer in the world to­day. It can af­fect any­one at any age, with more than three-and-a-half mil­lion skin cancer cases di­ag­nosed each year — that’s more than the in­ci­dence of breast, prostate, lung and colon can­cers com­bined.

Un­der­stand­ing skin cancer and what you should watch for is key. Most skin can­cers are eas­ily treat­able, and highly cur­able, when caught early. Basal and Squa­mous

Cell Can­cers These are the most com­mon forms of skin cancer. They gen­er­ally show up in sun-ex­posed ar­eas on the body, such as your face, arms and legs. Squa­mous cell can­cers looked like a crusty patch that you may think is a scab or a scrape that does not heal. Basal cell can­cers look more raised and smooth, and may be pink or pearly white. You may also mis­take them for a small in­jury or abra­sion that does not go away. Der­ma­tol­o­gists can eas­ily iden­tify these types of can­cers. Cell can­cers rarely spread any­where else in the body. Your doctor will typ­i­cally treat them by ei­ther sur­gi­cally re­mov­ing the cells or us­ing a top­i­cal treat­ment.

Melanoma Melanoma is a rel­a­tively rare type of skin cancer, but it is much more dan­ger­ous. It has the po­ten­tial to spread to other parts of the body and can be deadly. This cancer de­vel­ops when pig­ment­pro­duc­ing skin cells, called melanocytes, be­gin to grow and form a tu­mor, which can even­tu­ally spread. Most melanomas de­velop from a mole or look like a new mole. Ex­po­sure to ul­tra­vi­o­let rays from the sun or

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