Each year more than 600,000 people learn that they have some form of skin cancer. (National Cancer Institute , 1993) Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.(NCI, 1993) It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of Americans that live to the age of 65 will have skin cancer at least once.(NCI, 1993) One-third of all new diagnosed cancers are skin cancer. (Siegel, 1990, p.77) Skin cancer is now almost 100 percent curable if detected early and treated properly. (NCI, 1993)
Healthy cell in the body's tissues grow, divide, and replace themselves in a orderly way. (NCI, 1993) Sometimes normal cells lose their ability to limit their growth; too much tissue is formed and a tumor begins to form. (NCI, 1993) Tumors can be either benign or malignant. (NCI, 1993) Benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body and are seldom deadly.
(NCI, 1993) Malignant tumors invade and destroy nearby healthy tissues and organs.(NCI, 1993) Cancerous cells for malignant tumors can spread to other parts of the body by way of blood vessels and the lymph nodes. (Microsoft Encarta, 1995)
Skin Cancer has one known and easily avoidable risk factor: exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. (Reid, K. & Vikhanski, L, Medical World News, 1992) People with the highest risk of getting skin cancer are those that have fair skin and sunburn easily.(Siegel, 1990. p 78) The risk of developing skin cancer is also effected by where a person lives. People living closer to the equator ands people living in high altitudes have a increased risk of developing skin cancer. (Siegel, 1990, p 78) Exposure to artificial sources of UV radiation can increase a person's risk.(NCI, 1993) It is also a good idea to try to avoid...