The bad news is that there are more diagnosed cases of skin cancer every year than any other kind of cancer. The good news is that there are very, very few deaths attributed to this disease.
Skin cancer is the most treatable of all types, and the results of treatment are almost always positive. This year, there are expected to be a million new cases of diagnosed with this disease, but only 1,000 deaths are expected that are caused by the disease. So you can see that even if you are diagnosed with skin cancer, your odds are 1,000 to 1 that you will beat the disease. Those are terrific odds!
There are several different kinds of skin cancer. The one that forms in the cells that make pigment is called melanoma. Skin cancer that forms in the small, round cells in the base of the outer layer of skin is called basal cell carcinoma. The type that forms in the flat cells that form the surface of the skin is called squamous cell carcinoma. The type that forms in the cells that release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system is called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.
Most cases occur in older people, and generally on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun or in people who have weakened immune systems. Those with very fair skin are most prone to developing the disease.
Many risk factors are associated with the development of this disease, but the number one risk factor is unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays. Simple preventive measures like wearing sunscreen, avoiding being directly in the sun between 10 AM and 2 PM, wearing a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing (long sleeves and long pants) could prevent many cases of the disease.