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All about Skin Cancer: Causes, Treatments and Prevention

Cancer is a potentially life threatening disease of the body cells in which body cells multiply in an abnormal manner, invading other parts of the body. There can be different varieties of cancer depending upon the type of tissue cells from which they arise. Skin cancers are the cancers which arise from the skin cells.

The Skin Cancer Action Week is being celebrated in Australia between November 17 and 23, 2014, in order to raise awareness and help people prevent cancer of the skin through some simple means.

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Skin cancer epidemiology national skin cancer action week

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world. Australia and New Zealand exhibit one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world followed by countries like United States, Canada and United Kingdom. In Australia, every year skin cancer accounts for around 80 percent of all the newly diagnosed cases. Australians GPs have around one million patients per year for skin cancer consultation and the rate of skin cancer incidence is almost twice or thrice than the rates in other countries. Students studying for Skin Cancer are in Medical field. These nursing students also get a lot of assignments related to Skin Cancer to be done. Students are taking nursing assignment help in Australia, UK , USA to score good scores as well as gain knowledge about Nursing

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is of three types:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Malignant melanoma

Of them, the first two are more common and are not fatal if detected early. Malignant melanoma is the most fatal and is estimated to occur in one of ten new cases of cancer diagnosis. These cancerous growths occur in the pigment producing melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis and often resemble moles. These moles are usually black or brown in color but may also be of any other color.

Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Cancer research is still a developing field of research and much is still unknown. However, it has been observed that exposure to sun and indoor tanning through artificial tanning beds are the two most common causes of skin cancer.

Since cancer can be dangerous if left untreated. It is better to detect early signs and symptoms of skin cancer and start treatment. Here are some warning signs that should cause alarm:

  1. Look for spots on the skin that have suddenly appeared.
  2. Notice whether the spots are asymmetrical.
  3. Whether the spots have spreading borders.
  4. Whether the spots appear as black, blue, red, white or grey in appearance.
  5. Whether the spots are spreading in size.

Treatments Available

Treatments are dependent on the type of cancer, stage or level of progression of the cancer and age of the cancer victim. For carcinomas like basal skin cancer, CCPDMA is advised. It stands for Complete, Circumferential Peripheral and Deep Assessment Treatment. It may be of two types: Mohs surgery developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in 1930s and other Standard Excision Methods. In these treatments, the cancer cells are surgically removed while healthy tissue cells are spared. Mohs surgery has been identified by doctors as having 98 percent success rates for Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinomas. Other treatments involve radiation therapy, topical therapy and cryotherapy. However, Mohs surgery is the most preferred option for skin doctors.

Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

There are some easy ways to avoid skin cancer and the Cancer Council of Australia, have devised the ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide’ method to help people avoid the harmful rays of the sun. This includes slipping on protective cover to prevent sun burn, slopping sunscreen with more than 30 SPF, slapping on a broad brimmed hat to protect the face, seeking shade whenever possible and sliding on sunglasses to protect the eyes.

However, apart from the sun, white people also indulge in indoor tanning through tanning beds. Such tanning practices should be avoided as exposure to UV rays can heighten the chances of getting a skin cancer.

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