Oncology & Cancer

Scientists develop 'world first' melanoma blood test

Australian researchers said Wednesday they have developed a blood test for melanoma in its early stages, calling it a "world first" breakthrough that could save many lives.

Medical research

Sunlight continues to damage skin in the dark

Much of the damage that ultraviolet radiation (UV) does to skin occurs hours after sun exposure, a team of Yale-led researchers concluded in a study that was published online Feb. 19 by the journal Science.

Oncology & Cancer

New skin patch treatment kills most common form of skin cancer

A customized patch treatment for basal cell carcinoma completely destroys facial tumors without surgery or major radiation therapy in 80 percent of patients studied, say researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 2012 ...

Oncology & Cancer

Skin cancer deaths rates soar, mostly for men: study

Skin cancer deaths among men have soared in wealthy nations since 1985, with mortality rates among women rising more slowly or even declining, researchers told a medical conference in Glasgow Sunday.

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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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