This week, Laura Landro from the Wall Street Journal reported on a topic many people don’t even think about, what happens after skin cancer. The answer to this question is sometimes a re-occurrence. In fact, patients that have had basal cell carcinoma have a 40% chance of having that skin cancer, or another type, come back. With the sharp rise in non-melanoma skin cancer, doctors are becoming even more vigilant in urging patients to take care of their skin.
The two main types of non-melanoma skin cancer, both linked to excessive sun exposure, can be cured if treated promptly. Basal cell carcinomas, which are abnormal lesions or growths which arise in cells that line the deepest layer of the epidermis—the outermost layer of skin—rarely spread, but can be disfiguring if not treated promptly. Squamous cell carcinomas, which begin in the skin’s upper layers, can grow deeper, destroying tissue and bone and spreading to other parts of the body.
After having either one of these cancers, not only do the patients have a chance of these cancers coming back, they also have an increased risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer. There also seems to be a risk of developing a second primary cancer such as prostate or breast. An extensive study saw a 35% increase from 2006 to 2012 in the amount of non-melanoma skin cancers. That means that this is an ongoing issue.
For some patients, these skin cancers grow at a fast rate, and many people are having upwards of 10 or 20 non-melanoma skin cancer removal surgeries. The people who are most at risk for this are white males, but white females have seen an increase in recent years, especially ones who took part of the indoor tanning craze during the late 90s and early 2000s.
Doctors try to convey the idea that it is never too late to begin to be vigilant about your skin safety. Any sun safe practices are beneficial, and people should never be hesitant to start. The lack of knowledge of these practices in the 195os and 1960s has led to a lot of these cases. We have the knowledge and power now to make the epidemic end.
We at MoleSafe agree with this article. People can start being sun smart today, and it will still make a big difference and huge impact. Be smart for not only yourself, but those around you too.
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