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What causes skin cancer? What are the types of skin cancer? Is it preventable?

What causes skin cancer?

Rarest form of Skin Cancer
Wikimedia Commons

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States is mostly caused by Ultra Violet (UV) radiation damage. UV waves are radiation rays that come from the sun, sunlamp and/or from a tanning booth, and upon prolonged exposure these waves damage the DNA of normal skin cells; resulting in the formation of skin tumors. Skin cancer does not discriminate; affecting all age groups regardless of age, race, and/or gender. More than 61,000 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in 2010, and more than 9100 people dying from melanoma, the rarest form of skin malignancy.

What are the types of skin cancer?

There are three types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (the most common type), squamous cell carcinoma, the 2nd most common and melanoma, the least common. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are serious, occur most often and have the best prognosis because these two types of skin cancer usually do not metastasize. However, melanoma is infamous because it has the tendency to metastasize throughout the entire body.

People at a higher risk for skin cancer

  • Individuals who have a family history of skin cancer
  • Fair-skinned individuals,
  • Individual with freckles

There are a few other causes of skin cancer; causes that are not related to sun exposure. For example, did you know that the use of chronic tobacco contributes to the incidence of skin cancer? HPV infections also increase one’s chance of developing skin cancer, specifically squamous-cell carcinoma. Environmental carcinogens are believed to play a big role in developing skin cancer. And arsenic, and petroleum by-products increase the chances of one developing squamous cell carcinoma.

Is skin cancer preventable?

There is great news when it comes to skin cancer! Yes, it is preventable! One way to prevent skin cancer is to apply sun screening lotion that contains both UVA and UVB protection. This sun screening lotions should be SPF no lower than 15, and should be applied 15 min prior to sun exposure. Another way is to prevent prolonged exposure from UV waves. Many people feel that if clouds are out they are not getting exposed. That is a myth. In fact research has determined that the clouds possibly could make UV prevalence worse because they are capable of redirecting the sun rays back to the ground.

In Summary

It is said that the best and only way to beat cancer is to prevent it. But, the reality is that not all forms of cancer are easy to prevent. However, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers because the beginning of abnormal cells are easily visualized. Any abnormality that is in eyes’ view; on the skin will be noticed. But noticing anything abnormal is not all of it. You must take it a step further; take action and get a total assessment and evaluation of the skin abnormality. This assessment and evaluation may consist of a biopsy and even though this procedure maybe somewhat invasive, it is a necessary evil. Remember, the cure of all cancers begins with early detection and treatment.

The American Academy of Dermatology has a program called Spot Me. The mission is of this program is to help reduce the number of deaths from skin cancer in the United States by educating the public about skin cancer and providing free screenings to detect skin cancer earlier. There are upcoming Spot Me events with one taking place at the Atlanta Falcon’s Training Camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia on Friday, July 25 2014.

You might be someone with skin cancer who does not particularly feel comfortable with receiving chemotherapy and/or invasive procedures and would be interesting in exploring other options. If this is the case the JW Kennedy Foundation has worked with NASA and developed a product named Biominix. Biominix, known as NDM (Natural Disease Mitigation) is a topical mineral developed as a natural treatment alternative. Since this product does not contain any synthetic or new drug it is not approved by the FDA . And it is important to know and understand that this product it is not used to treat and/or cure any disease. However, many who have used Biominix have great testimonies about the effects of this product.

July is National UV Safety Month; a time to make people aware of UV damage and the correlation it has with skin cancer. Whether you are someone who prefers a traditional or an alternative approach, now is an opportune time for you to make your loved ones, friends, and others aware of skin cancer, its causes, ways to detect it, and help prevent it. Let’s take action people! Let’s be the ones who make a difference and help detect and prevent skin cancer!

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