Skin Cancer

Essay by fogdogman17Junior High, 9th grade May 2004

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Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, and any cancer as well. It affects 800,000 Americans every year. Basal cell carcinoma is often referred to as BCC.

BCC is caused mostly by exposure to sunlight. The head, face, ears, and backs of hands are the most likely to have the cancer because they are the most exposed parts of the body in the sunlight. People are light skinned have a higher chance of getting BCC, but anyone with frequent sun exposure can get it. Those whose occupations require long hours outdoors or who spend extensive leisure time in the sun are in particular jeopardy.

There are five main warning signs of BCC. They are:

q A persistent non-healing sore

q A crusty red patch that may itch or hurt

q A shiny bump that may translucent and is often confused with a mole

q A Pink Growth with a slightly elevated rolled border and a crusted indentation in the center

q A scar-like area, which is white, yellow or waxy, and often has poorly defined borders.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is the second most common skin cancer, after BCC, and it affects more than 200,000 Americans every year.

The most common cause for squamous cell carcinoma is chronic exposure to sunlight. That is the reason that the most frequently sun-exposed parts of the body-the face, neck, hands, shoulders, and arms- are the most common spots for the cancer to be located. The most vulnerable area of the skin is the ears and the lips.

The people who are most vulnerable to get squamous cell carcinoma are a person with a substantial history of sun exposure, or anyone who has light skin. Anyone who works in a job that requires long hours in the...