What is Skin Cancer?


What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The disease, like all cancers, starts when abnormal skin cells begin growing uncontrollably and cause malignant tumors. In the case of skin cancer, this abnormal skin cell growth occurs when DNA damage goes unrepaired. And, this DNA damage occurs most often by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds and the sun.

There are a handful of types of skin cancer, but the two most common forms that people suffer from are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These types of the disease are very curable, but removal of the cancer may be very costly and cause unsightly disfiguration. Melanoma is the next most common type of skin cancer; and unfortunately, this type of cancer is very dangerous, difficult to treat and causes many deaths.

The vast majority of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas are caused by the invisible radiation found in UV rays. These rays, emanating from tanning beds and the sun, penetrate healthy skin cells and begin the mutation process.

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