While it is not the most prevalent type of cancer (breast cancer is the most common form of cancer with nearly 270,000 new cases in 2018) skin cancer is one of the more frequently diagnosed cancer types. In fact, about 20% of Americans will contract skin cancer before the age of 70. Given this statistic, it is useful for everyone to learn a few things about skin cancer. Here are five facts about skin cancer and the options for skin cancer treatment:
Causes of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer results from damage to the DNA of skin cells. The most common cause of damage is ultraviolet (or UV) radiation from the sun. In addition to visible light, the sun emits many forms of invisible radiation including UV rays. Unlike other forms of radiation, such as x-rays, UV rays do not have enough energy to penetrate the body. However, UV rays do have enough energy to damage, or ionize, the molecules in the skin. When DNA molecules are ionized in this manner, skin cancer can result.
Skin Cancer Prevention
The most effective form of prevention against skin cancer is to cover up. Hats, long sleeve shirts, long pants, and parasols all stop UV rays. However, this is unrealistic for many people, which leads them to sunscreens.
UV rays are divided into three categories based on their energy. UVA rays are the least energetic. UVA causes tanning and may be responsible for some adverse effects to the skin, such as wrinkles. UVA is believed to lack the energy to play a direct role in cancer cell formation. UVB is more energetic than UVA and holds primary responsibility for sunburns and skin cancers. UVC is the most energetic but cannot reach the ground because the atmosphere absorbs most of it through interactions with ozone.
Sunscreens are formulated to block UVA and UVB rays. There are two forms of sunscreens. The less common type uses inorganic compounds to physically block or deflect the UV rays from striking the skin. The more common type uses organic compounds to absorb the UV rays and convert its energy to heat. Sun protection factor (or SPF) gives a measure of how well a sunscreen protects the skin. The scale is inversely proportionate to the amount of sunlight allowed by the sunscreen. Thus, SPF 30 allows 1/30th of the UV rays through, while SPF 15 allows 1/15th of the UV rays through. This means that higher SPF numbers identify sunscreens that are more protective of the skin.
Skin Cancer Types
There are three common types of skin cancer and about three less common types of skin cancer. The three common types are distinguished by the skin cells affected.
- Basal cell carcinoma occurs in areas of the skin that have been exposed to sun. It is characterized by a shiny bump; a firm, shiny or waxy lesion; a firm, brown or reddish brown lesion; or a sore that does not appear to heal or recurs after healing.
- Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in areas of the skin exposed to sunlight. Its characteristics are a hard, red bump or a crusty, scaly lesion.
- Melanoma can develop anywhere, regardless of whether the skin has been exposed to the sun. It is characterized by a dark spot; a dark spot with speckles; a lesion or mole that is irregular in shape and color; or lesions that itch, burn, or bleed.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Skin cancer doctors have many options for treatment. Among the skin cancer treatment options are
- Surgical procedures to remove the cancerous cells
- Chemotherapy treatment to destroy the cancerous cells with drugs
- Radiation therapy to destroy the cancerous cells with radiation
- Cryotherapy to freeze the cancerous cells and
- Photodynamic therapy to destroy the cancerous cells with laser light
The choice of which form of skin cancer treatment a cancer specialist may choose to use depends on a number of factors, including the stage of the cancer and the size of the cancerous lesion.
Skin Cancer Survivability
The survivability of skin cancer depends on many factors including the stage of the cancer at which it was discovered and the age and health of the patient. However, when detected early, the survival rate for melanoma is 99%.
Skin cancer is detectable, even at home, because it is visible. Prevention and early detection can make skin cancer highly survivable.
There’s been a renewed focus on skin care in recent years and aisles are full of facial masks, creams, and other lotions and potions that promise to even your skin tone, eliminate acne, mitigate the effects of psoriasis, prevent aging, and so forth. By 2024, it’s predicted that the skin care market globally will hit a net worth of $180 billion! However, there’s another important advantage to taking care of your skin — and one that you might not have thought about. Paying attention to our skin means that we’re more attuned to skin cancer and implementing preventive measures so you don’t ever have to worry about skin cancer! We’ll discuss how you can keep your skin cancer free and what you should do if you see signs of skin cancer (and how to tell).
How Can I Avoid Skin Cancer?
Using a broad spectrum sunscreen is one surefire way to help avoid skin cancer, especially if you’re out and about in the sun frequently. Sunscreens have also evolved, so if you’re worried about sunscreen making you break out with acne, or having oily skin, there’s likely something on the market now that can both protect your skin and keep you from a bad acne breakout.
Of course, staying out of the sun — either by staying in the shade or wearing sunglasses or a sunhat if you’re out in it — is also a good way to avoid skin cancer. You should also stay away from tanning beds and try to avoid getting sunburned.
Checking in with your dermatologist at least once a year is another smart idea — they can conduct a professional skin exam and clear you!
What to Know About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer, and luckily, has a high cure rate. ut one in five Americans will get a skin care diagnosis by the time they’re 70. There are five main types — basal and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, Merkel cell skin cancer, lymphoma of the skin, and kaposi sarcoma. The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, which over four million Americans are diagnosed with every year.
If you have existing moles, it’s important to keep an eye on them — if they’re changing shape, size, or color, talk to your doctor. Between 70-80% of melanomas occur on what seems like healthy skin, but 20-30% are discovered in existing moles.
How Do I Tell If I Have Skin Cancer?
One of the classic signs to look for is a mole that is changing or doesn’t look like other moles. Scaly patches or sores that won’t heal or continue to return are other things to keep an eye out for, as well as an unusual dome-shaped growth or a brown or black streak under a nail. Anything that itches or bleeds in a way that’s out of the norm pay attention to.
What Treatments are Available?
One of the most successful treatments for skin cancer is Mohs surgery. It’s widely considered the gold standard in skin cancer removal, with a 98-99% success rate when it comes to curing skin cancer and has minimal impact on healthy skin. The surgeon only gets rid of the skin with cancer cells. You don’t need to go under — anesthesia is injected at the site that’s being operated on only. This type of treatment is generally used for basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
A simple excision, cryotherapy, radiation, and topical chemotherapy are other common types of treatments as well. The treatment plan can depend on how aggressive the cancer is, what stage it’s in, and where it’s located. Your doctor and/or dermatologist will be able to map out the best treatment and recovery plan for you and your needs.
Don’t avoid putting sunscreen on because you’re worried about acne — you should take your skin protection from the sun very seriously. However, if you do everything right, and still find yourself with a case of skin cancer, it’s also great to know your options for treatment and what you can expect.
In theory, getting the medical help that you need is easier than ever before. From hospital emergency rooms for the most serious of injuries and illnesses to the convenient walk in clinics that post their wait times on large interstate signs and prices in the lobby, there is a wide range of options when it comes to getting the medical help that you need. Medical center emergency rooms are as expensive as they are effective, however, so it is often in everyone’s best interest to make sure that they make wise choices about the places where they get the care that they need.
Typical family physicians and pediatricians still offer slots for regular office visits and serve a number of purposes that help people get the care that they need. These prearranged appointments, often that are needed weeks if not months in advance, are not always the best option for late night illnesses and weekend injuries. Waiting until the next morning or after the weekend is not always an option. At the same
Urology is not a common word the average individual might hear. For those that do not know, urology is a study within the branch of medicine completely focused on the body’s urinary system in both males and females. The field of medical science concerns itself with health conditions involving male reproduction as well as male genitals.
To be more specific, if you are a patient that deals with problems in your bladder, kidneys, ureters, urethra, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles and prostate gland, then you will be visiting a urologist.
Trouble With Your Bladder?
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Traditionally, healthcare services have always been separated through various categories that encompass different areas of medical care. The primary differences are typically between 24 hour emergency care and a 24 hour urgent care for children that section itself through limitations and convenience that’s associated with each type of medical service. But that’s starting to change with the introduction of hybrid care facilities that implement all-in-one medical care with the same affordable care.
What’s The Difference Between Urgent Care Clinics And Emergency Care?
Urgent care for children medical services are staffed with various medical practitioners at any given time, from nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants, depending on the state or region the medical center is in and their rules and regulations. Urgent care for children benefits those who have hectic schedules. Research showed in 2016, 27% of U.S patients reported they visited an urge
Sore muscles are hard to deal with, especially when they are part of surgery recovery or other issues. Massage is an important part of physical therapy for muscle injuries, and sometimes there are special tools that can help with the power of massage treatments. With almost 90% of Americans believing that massage is valuable for overall health and wellness, there is much to ask about the benefit of massage therapy in response to an injury.
Different Massage Treatments
Different massage treatments are forms of physical therapy, treating any form of muscular injury or aiding recovery from surgery. While you have the ability to visit a physical therapist or a massage therapist to help with injuries or chronic pain, there is also something to gain from a massage chair to be had in your own home. Some of these may treat lower back pain or tightness in other tissue. With over 650 muscles in the body, there are many different possible benefits for massage.
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Many Americans today suffer from everyday wounds or illnesses, and when they do, they may visit local urgent care centers for help. These friendly local urgent care clinics are staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians who can treat a wide range of non life-threatening ailments for their guests, and many of these clinics also have their own pharmacy with trained pharmacists on hand. A person may look up a local urgent care business with an online search on a victim’s behalf, and they can find something local with a search including their town or city’s name or even their ZIP code. A search such as “good urgent care centers Boston MA” or “urgent care clinics in San Francisco CA”. But what does it cost to start an urgent care clinic? Entrepreneurs and other business professionals are concerned with setting up new urgent care startups, and the question of what does it cost to start an urgent care clinic is an important one to answer. The
Life is something that should be filled with fun experiences and meaningful activities. Unfortunately, certain people find themselves dealing with a wide range of problems as they age. No one wants to spend their lives dealing with health issues. Therefore, it’s understandable to want to learn how to remain healthy throughout life. Here are four smart ways for seniors to ensure they remain healthy.
- Follow a Proper Diet
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Medical costs are hitting astronomical figures. It’s to the point many Americans will actively avoid receiving the medical care they need for fear of bills.
This is no way to live. Despite this simple fact, it can be hard to find viable options. Instead of reaching for the emergency room phone number next time your pain reaches a certain threshold, consider looking into your local urgent care center. Not only will you still receive high quality medical care, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of a short wait time and a low cost. Too many Americans today are trying to choose between saving money and living a healthier life.
Pick a third option. Skip the emergency room phone number and look instead to urgent care for any of these symptoms or conditions.
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