Oncology & Cancer

Skin cancer interventions affect sun-safety attitudes

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the U.S. than many other cancers combined, and it is one of the most common cancers among young women. Penn State researchers are testing social media interventions aimed at this ...

Oncology & Cancer

Sun protection misinformation still common

Many U.S. adults misunderstand how to protect themselves from the sun to reduce their risk of skin cancer, according to a survey released by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Oncology & Cancer

Skin cancer in people of color

Dark skin does provide some protection against the sun's ultraviolet rays, but it's a myth that people with dark skin tones are immune to the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Oncology & Cancer

Can a blood test help diagnose skin cancer?

New research in Advanced NanoBiomed Research indicates that testing an individual's blood can reveal the presence of circulating melanoma cells. Such tests may allow patients to forego invasive skin biopsies to determine ...

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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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