Skin Cancer

Essay by Daniel DeanUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 1997

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Of all different kinds of cancer, skin cancer is one of the most commonly

diagnosed cancers in the United States. Skin cancer is a disease which cancer cells are

found on the outer layers of the skin. Your skin protects the body from heat, infection,

light, injury and infection. It also stores fat, water, and vitamin D. The skin has two

layers and several different kinds of cells. With a certain lifestyle these cells can become

cancerous.(Prodigy Web Browser: An Introduction to skin Cancer {NET}, 1997)

Melanoma is associated with the highest case-fatality rate of all skin cancers.(Mortality

and Morbility Weekly Report Vol. 45/No. 17 , {MMWR}, 1996) Numerous studies have

delineated the natural history of skin cancers. Some cell carcinomas tend to grow and

invade slowly and steadily. Certain subtypes are more aggressive, and certain sites of

occurrence (scalp, shoulders and nose) are associated with worse cases.


melanoma may have a thin stage, in which survival rates are excellent. The length of thin,

or radial, growth phase may be months to years. If untreated at some point melanoma

enters a quick growth phase. When this occurs the survival rates plummet.(Brandt, 1996)

Skin Cancer can be avoided. A change in lifestyle can reduce the risk of skin cancer.

This includes awareness of the reality of skin cancer, avoiding the sun, and self-

examination and screening.

Most of the time when people think of a serious disease they think of things like

lung cancer, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, and other hot topic diseases of

that nature. Skin cancer awareness and the seriousness of skin cancer is far less

emphasized. The MMWR did a survey of knowledge of and awareness about melanoma

in the united states in 1995. In 1996, an estimated 38,300 cases of melanoma were...