Skin cancer is often or usually caused by years of too much
sun exposure. More than 90% of all skin cancers are found on body parts that
get the most sun most of the time. The face, neck, ears, hands, and arms are
common body parts that get skin cancer.
Skin cancer can often be
prevented by avoiding overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays (UV rays). UV
rays from artificial sources, such as tanning beds or sunlamps, are just as
dangerous as those from the sun.
The three main types of skin
basal cell cancer,
squamous cell cancer, and
ABCDE system is a guide to detect signs of skin cancer in moles or growths on
skin types that burn easily and do not tan are at
highest risk for skin cancers. Anyone who has had severe sunburns or many
sunburns is at high risk for skin cancers.
A person in the
southern United States has a 50% greater risk for getting basal cell cancer
than a person in the northern United States. The risk for squamous cell cancer
is four times greater in the southern U.S. The closer a person lives to the
equator, the greater the cancer risk from sun exposure. The risk for skin
cancer also increases if you are exposed to intense sun year after year over
September 1, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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