The skin protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also
helps control body temperature and stores water and fat. Skin cancer is
the most common type of cancer. It usually forms in skin that has been
exposed to sunlight, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Skin has several layers. Skin cancer begins in the epidermis (outer layer),
which is made up of squamous cells, basal cells, and melanocytes.
There are several different types of skin cancer. Squamous cell and basal
cell skin cancers are sometimes called nonmelanoma skin cancers. Nonmelanoma
skin cancer usually responds to treatment and rarely spreads to other
parts of the body. Melanoma is more aggressive than most other types of
skin cancer. If it isn’t diagnosed early, it is likely to invade
nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The number of cases
of melanoma is increasing each year. Only 2 percent of all skin cancers
are melanoma, but it causes most deaths from skin cancer.
Rare types of skin cancer include Merkel cell carcinoma, skin lymphoma,
and Kaposi sarcoma.
Skin Cancer Screening
Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This
can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer
is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear,
cancer may have begun to spread.
Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely
to get certain types of cancer. They also study the things we do and the
things around us to see if they cause cancer. This information helps doctors
recommend who should be screened for cancer, which screening tests should
be used, and how often the tests should be done.
It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think
you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests
are given when you have no cancer symptoms.
If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests
done to find out if you have cancer. These are called diagnostic tests.
Skin Cancer prevention?
Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer.
By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or
population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths
caused by cancer.
To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and
protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing
cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance
of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.
Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example,
both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types
of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy
diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk
factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does
not mean that you will not get cancer.
Source: National Cancer Institute
We are here to help
For more information or to talk with a Cancer Nurse Navigator, please call
Our Cancer Nurse Navigators can help with:
- Answering questions and providing educational materials on cancer and specific
types of cancer
- Explaining your diagnosis and treatment, every step of the way
- Emotional support, including one-on-one time, and recommendations for counseling services
- Expedited scheduling and coordinating of diagnostic test and physician
- Coordination on your plan of care between your primary care and oncology
- Access to clinical trials
- Recommendations on resources for nutrition, rehabilitation, transportation,
support groups, financial assistance, and spiritual and emotional guidance
- Making important connections with community support services and resources
- Survivorship support
For more information, or to talk with a Cancer Nurse Navigator, please