Skin cancers can arise from various skin layers and cell types. The exposure of the skin to the environment has a special relevance because of a wide variety of carcinogens that can interact directly with the genetic material of the skin cells and increase the risk for skin cancer. Skin cancer can be divided into melanoma and non-melanoma types.
Melanoma is a skin tumor that originates from the melanocytes and ranks as the seventh leading type of cancer in the U.S. The incidence of melanoma is ten times more in Caucasians compared to African Americans. In women the incidence of melanoma is increasing faster than any other cancer, except lung cancer. Excessive sun exposure is considered the principle cause of melanoma. Individuals with fair skin, blue eyes, blonde or red hair are at higher risk for melanoma.
There are two types of non-melanoma skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma, the most common cancer in the U.S. among Caucasians, accounts for 77% of all skin cancers and has the following characteristics: shiny skin, pink color, nodular variant, pigmented basal cell carcinoma, sclerosing. read more...