Skin cancer can affect people of different ages and all skin tones, including people with dark skin. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop the condition by age 70. Island Aesthetics & Dermatology is a Coupeville skin cancer practice with reputable specialists providing cancer screenings and treatment options. Explore the different types of cancers and their potential therapeutic modalities.
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a cancerous growth that develops in skin cells. It occurs when changes in DNA information trigger an abnormal cell replication.
One of the common factors causing skin cancer is exposure to UV light. It develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun, like the face, ears, lips, and neck. But it can also grow in places that do not usually receive sunlight, such as the sole of your feet or the genitals.
Intense UV light can modify the cell’s DNA profile and trigger skin cancer. People who frequently use tanning beds have an elevated risk.
Types of skin cancers
Basal and squamous cell skin cancer
Basal and squamous cell cancers usually emerge in areas of the body exposed to sunlight. Squamous cells are at the uppermost layer of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma happens when the squamous cell replication runs out of control.
Basal cells, on the other hand, are cells on the lower epidermis. They flatten as the cell replication goes out of control and turns into squamous cells.
Estimates show approximately five million people are diagnosed with basal and squamous cell cancer each year. About 80% of the cases are basal cell carcinoma.
Melanoma skin cancer
Melanoma occurs when tumorous growth develops on the cells that produce the skin’s pigmentation. It is also caused by excessive exposure of the skin to UV radiation.
Melanoma is more common in pale skin that quickly develops sunburns. But it can affect people of different ages and backgrounds.
Melanomas are usually irregularly shaped and have multiple colors. They can appear anywhere in the body. But are less likely to grow in areas not exposed to sunlight. If melanoma remains untreated, there is a high risk of spreading to the rest of the body.
Skin lymphoma cancer
Skin lymphoma is rare cancer occurring in six cases for every million people. They start in the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. It is one of the skin cancers that are not due to sun exposure.
The tumors grow gradually, developing into rashes and patches on the skin. The flat patches can extend to other areas of the body. The affected spot is usually itchy and dry.
There is a higher incidence of skin lymphoma among African-Americans. Aging and immune system conditions can also increase your risk of skin lymphoma.
Skin lymphoma is challenging to diagnose since it grows gradually. It is advisable to visit your dermatologist whenever you notice rashes and patches on your skin. Early interventions can minimize the disease from spreading to the rest of the body.
To schedule a consultation, call Island Aesthetics & Dermatology or use our online booking feature.