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As soon as the temperature starts to rise, it’s time to take advantage of outdoor activities and spending time with family in the sunshine. But with the extra fun comes increased risk of skin cancer. Sun protection is your best line of defense when it comes to skin cancer prevention. The American Cancer Society says staying in the shade can be one of the best lines of defense for your skin.
What is Skin Cancer?What exactly is skin cancer? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation and Skincancer.org, it is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells usually caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. The CDC suggests someone is at a higher risk of getting skin cancer even from a few bad sunburns. There are multiple types of skin cancer, but here are the three most commonly diagnosed in the United States, according to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America:
- Basal cell carcinoma: The cancer cells develop in the basal layer of the skin, hence the name. This type of skin cancer accounts for 80% of all diagnoses in America. This type of the least dangerous because it rarely metastasizes and grows slowly.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This is the second most common type of skin cancer. They develop from the flat squamous cells on the skin. Although they are more likely to spread than basal cell carcinoma, it is uncommon for them to metastasize.
- Melanoma: This is a more aggressive and dangerous type of skin cancer that form in the melanocytes, or darker pigments of skin. Melanoma can form in parts of the body that aren’t exposed to sunlight, and can metastasize.