What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and can appear anywhere on the skin. Non-melanoma skin cancers, like Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, are the most common. The first signs of non-melanoma cancers are often patches or lesions on the skin that show unnatural growth.
Cases of skin cancer have been on the rise for decades now. When found early, most skin cancer types can be treated. That’s why it is important to check your skin regularly for any irregularities and see a doctor whenever you worry about something.
While melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, it is still important to pay attention to non-melanoma skin cancers and understand the forms they can take.
“The main symptom of non-melanoma skin cancer is the appearance of a lump or discolored patch on the skin that doesn’t heal.”
– UK National Health Service
Causes of skin cancer
Skin cancer is caused by the mutation in the DNA of skin cells. But what is causing that mutation? In most cases, the answer is UV exposure from the sun. Both ‘normal’ day-to-day exposure when outside, and also from actively trying to tan. But skin cancer often appears in places that is usually hidden from direct sunlight, so there are other factors in play.
Studies have shown that exposure to toxics can be a cause, for example from the environment that you live in. Also, genetics can be a cause of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Risk by Gender
Skin cancer can appear anywhere on the skin, but as you can see in the illustration above there are a few places where skin cancer is more commonly seen. This has to do with several factors, such as the amount of sun exposure on a certain area and genetics. As you can see, some of these places might be hard to check for yourself. You can use the help of a partner or friend if needed.