Medical research

A new way to monitor cancer radiation therapy doses

More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical. Too much and the surrounding tissue gets damaged, too little and the cancer cells survive. Subhadeep Dutta and Karthik Pushpavanam, ...

Immunology

Predicting immunotherapy success

One of the frustrations with anti-cancer therapy is that no one drug fits all: Most work well in some people but have little effect in other patients with the same type of cancer. This is as true of the newer immunotherapy ...

Oncology & Cancer

Gay and bisexual men have higher rate of skin cancer

In the largest study of skin cancer rates among gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital report important differences in skin cancer prevalence among sexual minorities. Rates of ...

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Skin neoplasms (also known as "skin cancer") are skin growths with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma, each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises. Skin cancer generally develops in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin), so a tumor can usually be seen. This means that it is often possible to detect skin cancers at an early stage. Unlike many other cancers, including those originating in the lung, pancreas, and stomach, only a small minority of those affected will actually die of the disease, though it can be disfiguring. Melanoma survival rates are poorer than for non-melanoma skin cancer, although when melanoma is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment is easier and more people survive.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers combined are more common than lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer. Melanoma is less common than both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, but it is the most serious — for example, in the UK there were over 11,700 new cases of melanoma in 2008, and over 2,000 deaths. It is the second most common cancer in young adults aged 15–34 in the UK. Most cases are caused by over-exposure to UV rays from the sun or sunbeds. Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common skin cancers. The majority of these are basal cell carcinomas. These are usually localized growths caused by excessive cumulative exposure to the sun and do not tend to spread.

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