Skin cancer is primarily a lifestyle disease. Exactly what does that mean? Simply put, a lifestyle disease is a disease associated with the way a person lives. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Arming yourself with knowledge of skin cancer is a first step in your defense of this serious disease.
Skin cancer is so common that one in five Americans will develop it in the course of their lifetime. Ninety percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The good news is, skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early, but may be deadly if allowed to grow.
There are several kinds of skin cancers. Basal Cell Carcinoma is one of them and is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers. More than one out of every three new cancers is a skin cancer, and the vast majority are basal cell carcinomas.
Basal cell carcinomas are abnormal, uncontrolled growths that usually develop on sun-exposed parts of your body, especially your head and neck. However, they can occur on any part of your body – even those that are rarely exposed to sunlight. They arise in your skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of your skin. Although a general warning sign of skin cancer is a sore that won’t heal or that repeatedly bleeds and scabs over, basal cell carcinomas may also appear as:
- A pearly white or waxy bump, often with visible blood vessels, on your face, neck or ears. The bump may bleed and develop a crust. In darker skinned people, this type of cancer may be brown or black.
- A flat, scaly, brown or flesh-colored patch on your back or chest.
Basal cell carcinomas almost never spread beyond the original site. But they shouldn’t be taken lightly, because they can be disfiguring and possibly deadly if not treated promptly. If you have a suspicious growth or have had basal cell carcinoma in the past, call to schedule an appointment, today, and start your summer off skin cancer-free: (314) 878-3839.