Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Preventing And Treating Skin Cancer

by Hugh Larson

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States by far, with more than five million people receiving cancer treatment for it each year. In fact, more people have had skin cancer in the last thirty years than all other cancers combined! Because of how common it is, it might surprise you to learn that skin cancer is often preventable. Here are some facts about this common cancer that can help you to prevent it or recognize it if you do get it.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

The most common sign of skin cancer is a strange mark on the skin that does not heal. This mark can appear as a pale patch of skin, a translucent bump, a scar, or a skin rash. In the case of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, the mark usually appears as a mole. Melanoma can also develop in an existing mole, causing it change in color, shape, or size. To notice skin cancer as soon as it develops, you should regularly inspect your body for strange marks and check any existing moles for changes.

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is often preventable by avoiding the risk factors for the disease. These risk factors include:

  • Exposure to the Sun

The biggest risk factor for skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation from the sun's rays or from tanning beds. By wearing a hat, putting on sunscreen, or wearing protective clothing during the sunniest parts of the year, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.

  • Age and Gender

Older adults and men are more likely to receive skin cancer than young adults and women, but this is likely due to increased sun exposure.

  • Light Skin

Caucasians are much more likely to get skin cancer than races with darker skin.

  • Family History

If your parents or siblings have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you are more likely to develop the condition.

  • Smoking

People who smoker are more likely to get skin cancer than non-smokers, especially around the lips.

Treatment Options for Skin Cancer

It can be very scary to be diagnosed with any cancer, but the good news is that skin cancer is one of the more treatable cancers. There are many different treatment options that are available for you if you develop the condition.

  • Surgery

There are several different surgical treatment options for skin cancer. Surgery for skin cancer involves removing the affected area using an incision or a laser. In some cases, cryosurgery (in which the abnormal tissue is frozen off using liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide) can also be used.

  • Radiation

It may seem counter-intuitive to use radiation therapy to treat a disease that was caused by exposure to radiation, but the therapy can work in killing off cancerous cells.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for most types of cancer. It works by injecting chemicals into the body that are intended to kill of cancerous cells.

  • Biologic Therapy

With biologic therapy, patients are given medications that are designed to boost their immune systems. This helps the patient's immune system fight off the cancer.

When you recognize that you might have skin cancer, the most important thing you can do is to see your doctor as soon as possible. The faster you receive treatment for the disease, the more likely you are to make a full recovery. Once your skin cancer has been treated, do not think that you are safe from getting it again. In fact, people who have had skin cancer in the past are actually more likely to develop it than those who haven't. Continue to avoid risk factors as much as possible to avoid getting skin cancer again.


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.