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The Varieties of Skin Cancer PDF  | Print |  E-mail
There are five different categories of skin cancer. All of them are dangerous though some are greater causes for concern than others. The most widespread type of skin cancer is Basal cell carcinoma with over a million Americans developing this cancer each year. Seventy-five percent of all skin cancers treated are of this sort. This type of skin cancer is thought by physicians to be caused by a person spending too much time in the sun, which is why this type of skin cancer tends to be found on the more common areas on the body that regularly receives sun exposure. These areas include the face, scalp, and upper torso.

Although they have more than one form, basal cell carcinoma often starts like a shiny bump. It takes the appearance of a sore that does not heal or that heals and then becomes unhealthy-looking once again. These are slow growing; rarely spreading to other parts of the body but still must be treated quickly.

At least 200,000 Americans yearly are treated for Squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second most common and accounts for 20 percent of the cases of skin cancer. This one is also blamed on too much sun but is more prevalent among middle-aged people and the elderly. They first emerge as a crusty spot, but one with that appears reddened and irritated looking and does look very much like a small growth or boil. If you become aware of something that looks like this go immediately to your health care provider as Squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of your body.

The next type is the most dangerous of the skin cancers. It is melanoma and affects four percent of those who are treated for skin cancers. It is considered the most dangerous because it is the most deadly, although if found early the success rate is a stunning 95 percent effective. But once it starts to spread there is very little hope. So if you see changes to a mole or a new mole, especially if you are over 30, see your health care provider right away.  

The remaining one percent is separated between Paget's disease and Kaposi's sarcoma. Paget's occurs because of cancers in the sweat glands of the intestines, genitals or urinary tract and so the cancer appears in the genital area or around the anus. It can also come out around the nipples because of cancer of the milk ducts, though both men and women can have this affliction. The sores look like normal patchy skin, rashes, and can be extremely itchy or even painful. A biopsy is typically needed to determine if it's just a skin condition or if it's Paget's. Kaposi's sarcoma is an AIDS-related skin cancer linked to herpes.

Learn self-examination, because it's a way to protect yourself that is easy and costs you nothing more than a few moments of your time once every few months. Don't you think it would be worth it?
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