Skin Cancer Facts
Skin cancer is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in a layer of the
skin. It is the most prevalent form of cancer. Estimates of incidence rates
range from one in five to one in seven Americans. Ninety percent of all skin
cancers are curable if detected early
One American dies of skin cancer every hour. Ninety percent (90% ) of skin
cancer is caused by solar exposure. Over 80% of a person's lifetime exposure
and risk takes place in the first 18 years of life.
Skin cancer rates are increasing at an alarming rate worldwide.
One bad sunburn as a child doubles the chance of developing skin cancer later
Monthly skin self-examinations are a crucial step in the early detection of
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The three most common types of skin cancer are:
Basal cell carcinoma. Appears as raised, translucent lumps. Develops
in 300,000-400,000 persons per year.Basal cell carcinoma does not typically
spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream, although it may
cause considerable damage by direct growth and invasion.
Squamous cell carcinoma, is usually marked by raised reddish lumps
or growths. This form of cancer develops in 80-100,000 persons per year. It
can spread to other parts of the body. Approximately 2,000 deaths per year are
attributable to this form of cancer.
Malignant melanoma, first appears as a light brown to black irregularly
shaped blemish. If undetected, this is the deadliest form of skin cancer as
it can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and the lymph
All can be curable if detected in the early stages.