Diagnosing Skin Cancer
There are several different types of cancer, all of which are very dangerous and must be detected early in order to have the best possible prognosis. Skin cancer, which is an increasingly common form, is often associated with over exposure to sun or other ultraviolet radiation, including tanning beds. Because individuals with fair skin are more susceptible to a sunburn, they are also more susceptible to skin cancer. In order to protect themselves from the sun's strength, individuals should wear sunscreen with a high SPF, hats and long sleeve shirts. In addition, taking special care to not fall asleep in the sun or spend hours every day in it's presence may help to lessen it's harmful effects and possibly may even prevent skin cancer.
Symptoms of skin cancer are various, but the most common is a lesion that will not heal. This may also include discoloration and overall changes in the appearance of moles. The majority of skin cancer patients can be treated with a surgical procedure that involves removing the affected layers of the skin. If skin cancer is left untreated, however, it may begin to involve the deeper layers of the skin and possibly even the lymphatic system. In addition, it may spread to other parts of the body and become resistant to treatment if not detected early.
Of all the various forms of cancer, Skin cancer has one of the highest survival rates because, unlike the others, skin cancer is usually visible and leads to earlier detection. If a skin lesion does not heal within 7 to 10 days, or if a mole begins to change in shape, color or otherwise vary in appearance, a physician should be consulted in order to determine whether or not the lesion is cancerous. During testing, a piece of the skin will be removed by the physician and sent to a medical laboratory for further testing. If the test results are positive for the presence of cancer, the physician will invite the patient to return to his/her office for a conversation regarding possible treatment options.
The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for the cause, diagnosis or treatment of skin cancer. If necessary, individuals should consult a medical doctor or dermatologist for information regarding the likelihood of skin cancer, a proper diagnosis and recommended form of treatment.
How To Find Out If You Have Skin Cancer
The process of detecting skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, can be practiced with a monthly self examination combined with a yearly visit to your doctor. Early detection is key because, if diagnosed soon enough, skin cancer is almost always curable.
There are three main types of skin cancer, all of which are visible if you know what to look for. Melanoma, one of the main forms of skin cancer, is the deadliest. This disease is the most difficult to stop after it has spread throughout the body, which is why early detection and treatment are crucial. Skin cancer, of any kind, can usually be treated with success in it's early stages.
As individuals, everyone has freckles, birthmarks and moles. These are a part of you and you are used to seeing them, but you may not notice slight changes right away and that's what you need to be watching for. Any change in a mole's shape, edges, size or color should be checked by a physician. If a mole becomes larger than that of a pencil eraser or if it's color is multiple shades of brown rather than a solid color, these are both potential warning signs of skin cancer. A mole's border should be well defined and, if that is no longer the case, notify your doctor. In addition, any sore that will not heal or a mole that grows larger at a rapid speed should be tested immediately.
Deciding to seek medical attention is difficult. For this reason, it's best to choose a physician that you are comfortable with, such as a family doctor. He/she can examine your skin and refer you to a dermatologist if needed. The presence of skin cancer is determined by removing all, or part, of the questionable area and testing it with a microscope. Surgery is often utilized in the removal of ski cancer and, if done in the early stages, can be a very quick process. There will likely be a scar, but the physician may be able to completely remove all cancerous cells with only a very small incision.
If the cancer has spread, or is very large in the defined area, additional surgery may be required. In that case, chemotherapy or radiation treatments may be ordered to ensure the cancer is completely removed. Your physician will be able to answer all questions that you may have and should do so without reserve. When meeting with a doctor, ask for an explanation of all treatment options, including their likelihood for success in your particular case. Deciding to seek medical attention is a big step and one that a patient must be mentally prepared for.
This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.
Skin Cancer Do You Visit Tanning Salons
One of the main causes of skin cancer is exposure to harmful sunrays. If you thought that getting tanned at tanning salons was safer than the sun, please think again before visiting any salon again. Tanning beds and sunlamps are as dangerous as the sunrays.
Most of the bulbs used in the salons emit both UVA and UVB radiations that are also found in the sunlight and are responsible for both Melanoma and Nonmelonoma types of cancers. Exposure to tanning bulbs also reduces our bodys ability to repair the damaged DNA, which is caused by UV radiation.
Tanning not only may cause cancers as the last damage but also prematurely ages the skin. How many of us realize that tanning is bodys response to damage to the skin. every time, you get tanned , you accumulate skin damage. There is no such thing as safe tanning.
Unfortunately the cosmetic trends are pushing more women to tanning salons. More people are inviting cancer for the sake of the tanned look. Melanoma can kill if not diagnosed earlier. Unfortunately the young population is not changing its behavior about getting tanned. as they accumulate skin damage over the years, their getting affected by skin cancer at later stage of their life is increasing.
If you are one of those who believe that a tan is good and that tanning beds or sun lamps are safe, please stop using them. You are putting your life to a very painful death.
This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.
Sun Exposure Uv Rays The Basic Facts
The human body benefits from sun exposure. And a little bit of tan protects you from the sun. Right? Wrong!
The body does indeed benefit from sun exposure. But a little bit of tan does not necessarily protect you from the sun. Let's see why.
The sun's rays are a major source of vitamin D and help the body's systems acquire much needed calcium for building healthy bones. However, most people don't need to spend large amounts of time exposed to the sun in order to get their required amount of vitamin D.
In fact, the body's health can actually suffer negative effects when it's exposed too long to the sun's rays, especially if it's unprotected. Results can vary from skin and eye damage to immune system suppression and ultimately cancer, even for the young.
So let's look at the basic facts about sun exposure.
There are three kinds of invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays in the sun that reaches earth: UVA, UVB, and UVC. When these rays come in contact with our skin, affects of UVA and UVB can be - tans, burns and other reactions (e.g. like acne and cancer).
It's also notable that the effects of all UV rays are not the same. Depending upon the season, time of day and place on the planet in relation to the sun - (i.e. your altitude and latitude), the rays' intensities vary. For example, during summertime, UV rays are at their strongest. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the rays are strongest. And close to the equator and at high altitudes (where air and cloud cover are less, resulting in increased harmful penetration of UV rays into the environment), the rays are also strongest.
In order to protect ourselves from the harmful UV rays, let's look at the skin's first defense - melanin.
Melanin is a chemical present in a variety of colors and concentrations in most people's skin that helps with defense from the sun. Melanin reacts with UV rays and absorbs them. Or rather, to be more specific, the rays act upon melanin, causing the melanin to spread out or grow, increasing its presence in response to the sun's exposure. The result? A 'sun tan'. The darker the skin color, the more melanin the skin has for protection. And 'tanning' for darker color is included here; 'color' does not have to refer to just the original skin color.
A word of caution...
Tanning may look great on the surface, - but the amount and length of time a person is exposed to the sun, determines the amount of possible damage. It also determines the future risk of damage that's likely.
For example, people who are exposed to the sun in huge doses like ship crews, field workers and beach surfers, are at higher risks for skin damage than indoor workers. What happens is that when the amount of UV exposure is greater than what the skin's melanin can handle, sunburn can result. And those with lighter, fairer skin, who have less melanin, absorb less UV, suffering less protection.
Since research has shown that UV damage from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer, (with as high as 20% of some populations developing skin cancer during their lifetime), we need to take a proactive approach in relation to sun exposure to avoid harmful skin damage.
As we say colloquially here in Australia - "Slip, Slop, Slap". (I.e. 'Slip' on a shirt, 'Slop' on a hat, 'Slap' on a sunscreen). Look after the skin you've got, because you're the one who will be living with it!
Cure Skin Cancer Natural Treatment
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Did you know the majority of your sun exposure occurs before the age of 18, but can take years to surface as skin cancer? Get the information you need to participate in your care and recovery.
Beauty is only skin deep. But skin cancer goes much deeper. Teens quest for beauty not worth the cancer risk.
We think that this occurs only to the people of the mother's age but it occurs to the teenagers also. Skin cancer can be cured at its initial stage with the treatment and the precautions that are to be followed when suggested by the physician. But it goes deeper if it is abandoned for some period after its appearance. So we should be careful enough and take care of our skin.
Skin Cancer occurs mainly in people with fair skin, light eyes, and those who tend to freckle or burn easily during and after exposure to the sunlight. A history of 3 or more
sunburns, particularly blistering sunburns (before age 20) greatly increases risk. A history of severe sunburns in childhood and adolescence may actually double the risk of melanoma in adulthood.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Energy from the sun actually is a form of radiation. It consists of visible light and other rays that people can't see. Invisible infrared radiation, for instance, makes sunlight feel hot. UV also is invisible, and causes sunburn and sun tan. UV rays damage DNA, the genetic material that makes up genes. Genes control the growth and overall health of skin cells. If the genetic damage is severe, a normal skin cell may begin to grow in the uncontrolled, disorderly way of cancer cells. UV also can cause sunburn, and other damage that makes the skin look prematurely old and wrinkled.
Two kinds of rays exist in ultraviolet radiation invisible rays in sunlight that cause suntan, sunburn, premature skin aging, and most cases of skin cancer.:
* Ultraviolet A (UVA)
* Ultraviolet B (UVB)
Some cases of skin cancer, however, may be hereditary and run in families. In those cases, skin cancer is caused by abnormal genes that children inherit from their parents.
Genes make parents and children look somewhat alike. They also make them likely to get some of the same diseases.
Anyone can get skin cancer. Although most cases occur in people over age 50 with fair skin, it can develop in younger people, and those with dark skin. In general, an individual's lifetime exposure to UV light determines his risk. Certain individuals have a risk that is higher than the rest of the population. Included are people who:
Sunburn Skin Cancer And Aging Of The Skin
The experience of sunburn can be a very efficient (i.e. painful) reminder to heed adequate protection on future occasions. However more importantly, it should be a reminder of the long-term effects of sun exposure on our bodies and health - which can include aging of the skin and skin cancer.
In order to more fully understand these consequences, let's take a look at exactly what sunburn is, its symptoms and its effect on the body.
Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun, or other ultraviolet light source (e.g. tanning lamps and welding arcs etc.), exceeds the ability of the body's protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. Melanin content varies greatly, but in general darker skinned people have more melanin than lighter skinned. (Although fairer skinned people are generally more prone to getting sunburn than darker skinned people, this certainly does not exclude the latter from risk.)
Sunburn destroys cells in the outer layer of the skin, damaging tiny blood vessels underneath. Burns deeper into the skin's layers also damage elastic fibers in the skin, which over time and with repeated sun overexposure, can result in the appearance of yellowish, wrinkled skin.
The damage to skin cells from UV exposure (either sunlight or tanning lamps etc.) can also include damage to their DNA. It's this repeated DNA damage, which can lead to a cell becoming cancerous. With the incidence of skin cancer rising dangerously in many parts of the world, and with its ability to develop and establish itself in the body 'long' before external signs are detected, - paying attention to this aspect of sun exposure and sunburn should certainly not be ignored if we are serious about preserving our health.
Now while it may be easier to ignore the effects of sunburn occurring at a cellular level, ignoring the external symptoms of sunburn in the days immediately following such exposure is entirely another matter.
While sunburn is usually not immediately obvious, skin discoloration (ranging from slightly pink to severely red or even purplish) will initially appear from 1 - 24 hours after exposure. Although pain is usually worst 6 - 48 hours afterward, the burn can continue to develop for 24 - 72 hours after the incident. Where there is skin peeling, this generally occurs 3 - 8 days after the burn occurs.
While minor sunburns typically cause nothing more than warm/hot skin, slight redness, and tenderness to the affected area, - in more serious cases, extreme redness, swelling and blistering can occur. These blisters filled with fluid may itch and eventually break. This can then cause peeling of the skin, exposing an even tenderer layer of skin underneath.
Severe sunburn can cause very red, blistered skin but can also be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea (in some cases vomiting), and dehydration. In instances of extreme sunburn where the pain is debilitating, medical treatment may be required.
While the immediate effects of sunburn can certainly be painful and cause discomfort, the real deterrent to UV overexposure should be the potential damage to your long-term health - including the risk of premature aging of the skin along with skin cancer.
Don't let sunburn and sun overexposure kill your chances of enjoying youthful skin, and a healthy body. Remember, the easiest way to treat sunburn will always be to avoid it in the first place!
Coconut Oil Must Be Organic And Virgin To Reap Health Benefits
Several years ago, a popular national magazine called coconut oil a "miracle food" touting its ability to burn fat, help the thyroid and increase energy. As you can imagine, everyone flocked to the health food stores and wiped out the nations supply of coconut oil. Manufacturers could not keep up with the demand for high quality virgin coconut oil. During this time, several companies started peddling a very inexpensive, highly processed and refined coconut oil that was very appealing to the pocketbook.
Once again, coconut oil is back in the headlines and consumers are out shopping for the best value. Buyer beware... this low grade coconut oil does not hold the same promise as the high quality organic, virgin grade. The low grade coconut oil starts out with coconuts that are split and left outside in the open to dry out. Due to the high heat and humidity in the tropics, the coconuts are susceptible to growing mold and attracting germy flies. From there, harmful solvents are used for extracting the oil and more chemicals are used to bleach it back to its original white color. All the health benefits have now been destroyed and what is left is odorless, tasteless and bleached oil that can actually cause your body harm to consume it. I also want to mention that most salad and cooking oils that are sold at the market are also highly refined and manufactured basically the same way as I described above. Always make sure all the oils you consume are cold pressed (no chemical solvents or heat used) and preferably organic.
To reap the health benefits of coconut oil, it must be organic and virgin. This means that the coconuts are organically grown without any pesticides or herbicides. They are then "hand" or "mechanically" pressed without the use of solvents. You end up with creamy, naturally white oil that has a delightful smell of coconuts.
In addition to the fat burning and thyroid stimulating benefits that coconut oil has to offer, it also is known for improving conditions such as chronic fatigue, Crohn's, IBS, and diabetes to name a few. It is rich in lauric acid which has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.
You can use coconut oil for cooking, on salads, spread over toast, vegetables or added to protein drinks. It does not even have to be refrigerated. Room temp is fine. It has a shelf life of 1-2 years.
Coconut oil can be used topically for moisturizing and toning. It makes the skin feel like silk, even on those with extremely dry skin. It also helps to prevent sagging and wrinkling by keeping the connective tissues strong. It will remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smother giving a more youthful appearance.
This column, provided by Michael Comeau is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure disease. Always consult with your doctor when seeking medical advice.
Skin Cancer Screening Tour Is Making A Difference
More than one million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. Moreover, the incidence of skin cancer is on the rise, making early detection and treatment more critical than ever. To raise awareness and encourage regular skin examinations with a dermatologist, Doak Dermatologics, a leading specialty pharmaceutical company, and The Skin Cancer Foundation have joined forces on an innovative public service campaign called The Skin Cancer Screening Tour.
Free Skin Exams Offered
A 38-foot, custom-built Mobile Diagnosis Vehicle (MDv) is traveling across the country offering the public free skin cancer examinations by local, board-certified dermatologists in more than 20 cities. The Tour kicked off in early March at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and has traveled to Los Angeles before heading to Phoenix, Dallas, Houston and Tampa, so far.
The Skin Cancer Screening Tour is already making a difference. Dermatologists volunteering at the MDv have conducted more than 1,000 patient examinations while looking for four primary forms of skin cancer or precancerous skin conditions. So far, the doctors have identified incidences of these conditions in a number of people, including:
(*) 271 with Actinic Keratosis (AK)-AK affects 1.3 million people annually. AK is the most common type of precancerous skin lesion. If left untreated, AK can lead to Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
(*) 24 with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)-SCC is a form of skin cancer that affects 200,000 Americans each year. SCCs can metastasize (spread) quickly.
(*) 111 with Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)-BCC is a common form of skin cancer, affecting more than 800,000 Americans annually. Chronic exposure to sunlight is most often the cause of BCC, which occurs most frequently on exposed parts of the body.
(*) 11 with Melanoma-Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and has increased more rapidly than any other form of skin cancer during the past 10 years. By 2010, the number of Americans with melanomas is projected to rise to 1 in 50. If melanoma is diagnosed and removed early, it is almost 100 percent curable.
"We're very proud of the results The Skin Cancer Screening Tour has achieved so far," says Daniel Glassman, president and CEO of Bradley Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the parent company of Doak Dermatologics. "We hope this program will encourage those at risk for skin cancer to be aware of the need to visit a dermatologist regularly."
Sunburn Uv Overexposure Skin Cancer Prevention Or Cure
Overexposure to the sun and UV rays is rarely obvious at the time, - and on many occasions, probably quite unintentional. However repeated exposure has rather more adverse long-term implications for our bodies and our health.
We're all well aware of the more obvious and painful symptoms of sunburn including hot, red, tender skin - which in the case of a more heavy burn can also include blistering, peeling and dehydration.
The damage that occurs beneath the skin as a result of sunburn is considerably 'less obvious' at the time of exposure, and may in fact take years to produce symptoms visible to the naked eye.
The fact that damage caused to skin cells during sunburn can not only accelerate the aging process, but also increase the risk of cataracts and skin cancer, should certainly demand our attention.
When faced with the potential risk of having to treat more than just the temporary symptoms and pain of sunburn, doesn't it make more sense to avoid the risk in the first place?
Seek prevention rather than cure!
So before you venture out into the sun again, remember these important tips to protect yourself from overexposure of UV rays and sunburn, and its associated risks:
1. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeve shirt and a hat. Consider the 'additional' protection of an umbrella or shade where appropriate.
2. Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 3 pm if at all possible.
3. Remember that UV rays are present even on cloudy days.
4. Remember that sunlight is strongly reflected from sand, snow, ice, water and concrete, which can intensify your direct sunlight exposure.
5. Apply sunscreen containing a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun.
6. Reapply sunscreen at regular intervals while out in the sun, especially if you are perspiring heavily or swimming.
7. Remember that UV overexposure is not limited to 'sun exposure'. Sunburn can also occur as a result of UV exposure from other sources including tanning beds/lamps, welding arcs etc.
Prevention is a far better treatment than cure. In the event however, that you discover any unusual moles or growths on your skin - (particularly if they're irregular in shape, bleed, itch, or appear to be changing) - consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
When it comes to overexposure of UV rays and sunburn that result in skin cancer, early detection will certainly assist in providing you with more effective treatment. But considering your options beforehand - what will provide the best outcome for your health? Prevention or Cure? I know which one I'd choose...!
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