WHY DO WE GET SKIN CANCER?

The common kinds of skin cancer (called basal cell cancers or squamous cell cancers) occur as a result of exposure of susceptible skin to ultraviolet light- Pigmentation protects the skin and so it is the fair-skinned races who tend to get these common kinds of skin cancer. Once skin has become pigmented as a result of exposure to sunshine – once you have obtained your tan – then the tanned skin will give some very limited protection against burning. A tan provides the equivalent of a sun protection Factor of about 2. People do not always realize that even if skin is quite tanned, sunburn is still possible. Artificial tans out of a bottle can also protect the skin slightly but are even less effective than a natural tan. They do, however, have the advantage of making it unnecessary for people to bake themselves in the sun. While we may chink of a can as attractive, a tan produced by the sun is actually a sign of skin damage.
There are other factors that can contribute to common skin cancers, including chemicals and radiation and deranged function of the body s immune system. These are rarely significant and almost all common skin cancers are directly related to sunlight. We do not understand how sunlight damages the DNA within cells of the skin to produce these common skin cancers, but we do know that individuals need a lot of exposure to sunlight to get the common skin cancers and that they are mainly a problem for fair-skinned people who have lived in the tropics and had a lot of outdoor exposure. Because they do not spread very readily and are easily removed, common skin cancers tend to be regarded by doctors as a relatively minor problem. Only occasionally will doctors have difficulties in curing this kind of skin cancer. For this reason, it is probably sufficient to adopt a relatively simple policy of watching out for new spots or blemishes on the skin and showing them to a doctor if they cause concern; this kind of skin cancer does not represent any new or developing threat to the population. We must however give more attention to melanoma, which is more complicated in its origins and more threatening in its behaviour. It represents one of the most serious trends in cancer in the latter part of this century.
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WHY DO WE GET SKIN CANCER? The common kinds of skin cancer (called basal cell cancers or squamous cell cancers) occur as a result of exposure of susceptible skin to ultraviolet light- Pigmentation protects the skin and so it is the fair-skinned races who tend to get these common kinds of skin cancer. Once skin has become pigmented as a result of exposure to sunshine – once you have obtained your tan – then the tanned skin will give some very limited protection against burning. A tan provides the equivalent of a sun protection Factor of about 2. People do not always realize that even if skin is quite tanned, sunburn is still possible. Artificial tans out of a bottle can also protect the skin slightly but are even less effective than a natural tan. They do, however, have the advantage of making it unnecessary for people to bake themselves in the sun. While we may chink of a can as attractive, a tan produced by the sun is actually a sign of skin damage.There are other factors that can contribute to common skin cancers, including chemicals and radiation and deranged function of the body s immune system. These are rarely significant and almost all common skin cancers are directly related to sunlight. We do not understand how sunlight damages the DNA within cells of the skin to produce these common skin cancers, but we do know that individuals need a lot of exposure to sunlight to get the common skin cancers and that they are mainly a problem for fair-skinned people who have lived in the tropics and had a lot of outdoor exposure. Because they do not spread very readily and are easily removed, common skin cancers tend to be regarded by doctors as a relatively minor problem. Only occasionally will doctors have difficulties in curing this kind of skin cancer. For this reason, it is probably sufficient to adopt a relatively simple policy of watching out for new spots or blemishes on the skin and showing them to a doctor if they cause concern; this kind of skin cancer does not represent any new or developing threat to the population. We must however give more attention to melanoma, which is more complicated in its origins and more threatening in its behaviour. It represents one of the most serious trends in cancer in the latter part of this century.*66\194\4*

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 31st, 2011 at 9:30 am and is filed under Cancer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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