What is Skin cancer
The skin protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water and fat. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It usually forms in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Skin has several layers. Skin cancer begins in the epidermis (outer layer), which is made up of squamous cells, basal cells, and melanocytes.
There are several different types of skin cancer. Squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers are sometimes called nonmelanoma skin cancers. Nonmelanoma skin cancer usually responds to treatment and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Melanoma is more aggressive than most other types of skin cancer. If it isn’t diagnosed early, it is likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The number of cases of melanoma is increasing each year. Only 2 percent of all skin cancers are melanoma, but it causes most deaths from skin cancer.
Prostate cancer usually grows very slowly. Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease. Finding and treating prostate cancer before symptoms occur may not improve health or help you live longer. Talk to your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer and whether you need screening tests.
Rare types of skin cancer include Merkel cell carcinoma, skin lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma.
A Snapshot of Skin Cancer
Melanoma of the skin, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is the fifth most common type of new cancer diagnosis in American men and the seventh most common type in American women. The incidence and mortality rates for invasive melanoma are highest in whites, who have a much higher risk of developing melanoma than African Americans. Among people younger than 45 years, incidence rates are higher in women than in men. By age 60 years, melanoma incidence rates in men are more than twice those of women; by age 80 years, men are nearly three times more likely to develop melanoma than women. The annual incidence rate of melanoma among whites increased by more than 60 percent from 1991 to 2011. The incidence of melanoma has been increasing more rapidly among whites aged 65 and older than among any other group.
Risk factors for melanoma include having fair skin that burns easily, high lifetime exposure to natural or artificial sunlight, a history of blistering sunburns (particularly at a young age), many common moles, a personal or family history of dysplastic nevi or melanoma, and being white. Avoiding sun exposure and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion that filters both UVB and UVA radiation may reduce the risk of melanoma. Visual skin examinations are sometimes used to screen for melanoma. Standard treatments for melanoma include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and biological therapy.
Assuming that incidence and survival rates follow recent trends, it is estimated that $2.9 billion1 will be spent on melanoma care in the United States in 2014.
Assuming that incidence and survival rates follow recent trends, it is estimated that $13.0 billion1 will be spent on prostate cancer care in the United States in 2014.