Since skin cancer does not develop immediately, but over a period of time as a result of repeated UV exposure and consequent skin damage
experts believe the rising popularity of sunbathing combined with the observed decline of the ozone layer explains the gradual rise in skin cancer since the late 1970s.
What Is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer develops when skin cells sustain irreparable damage from repetitive long-term exposure to UV radiation (UVR) and begin to grow
out of control. These cells begin to multiply quickly and form tumors No one is immune to the effects of sun exposure. Though darker skin provides some protection from UVR and skin cancer is extremely rare in darker-skinned patients, it is more deadly because its detected at a later stage.
The rate of melanoma in children and adolescents has increased in recent years possibly because their immune systems are less developed making them more vulnerable to harmful radiation.
To protect yourself, it is important to knowwhat to look for because more than 90% of skin cancers are curable when caught early. Skin cancers are divided into 2 groups and are named forthe kinds of cells in which the cancer forms.Nonmelanoma skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
These are the most common forms of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing raised or flat patch of skin that may appear as pearly or waxy, white or light pink, flesh-colored or brown. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a bump with a rough, scaly surface or flat red patches, and is very common on the face, lips, ears, neck, arms, and trunk. Actinic keratosis is the earliest identifiable lesion that can develop into squamous cell carcinoma according to the American Academy of Dermatology
Best Prevention Is Sun Protection Sun protection factor (SPF) reflects the degree to which a sunscreen product protects the skin from UVR. The number indicates how many times longer you can stay in the sun before burning. For example, if you have fair skin and typically burn within half an hour, an SPF 15 allows you to stay out 15 times longer before burning. However, this assumes that you apply the sunscreen liberally, at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside even when cloudy, and reapply every 2 hours. If you have been swimming or sweating, you may need to reapply more frequently. Dermatologists recommend a minimal broadspectrum