2 Types of Skin Cancer Are on the Rise
Posted on 30 May 2017
Over a 10 year period, mostly women have been diagnosed at an alarming rate.
A Mayo Clinic-led team of researchers report that between 2000 and 2010, more adults and mostly women, were diagnosed with either basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), also referred to as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
According to their findings, the number of BCC cases increased by 145%. And for the number of SCC cases, the rates skyrocketed by 263%.
WOMEN HAVE HIGHER RATE OF THESE SKIN CANCERS
Women aged 30-49 had the greatest increase in BCC diagnoses, while women 40-59 and 70-79 experienced the greatest increase in SCC.
“Despite the fact that sunscreens and cautionary information have been widely available for more than 50 years, we saw the emergence of tanning beds in the 1980s, and tanning was a common activity for many years,” stated senior study author Christine Baum, MD, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist.
“I’m not surprised by the study since I see a lot of skin cancer in my office,” says Dr. Carlos Gomez-Meade, dermatologist, skin cancer specialist and co-founder of Little Leaves Clothing Company. “Multiple factors, use of tanning beds, and increased sun exposure may contribute to these findings.”
basal cell carcinoma
BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that more than 4 million cases of BCC are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and begins in the basal cells where new skin cells are produced. It will typically present itself as a pink pearly bump on an area that is exposed to the sun, such as the face and neck, and is thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, according to the Mayo Clinic.
squamous cell carcinoma
SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer. More than 1 million patients in the U.S. are diagnosed annually with this condition, and it usually appears in the form of a wart, which may crust or bleed. And based on statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation, as many as 8,800 people die from this disease each year.
“Both BCC and SCC can also present as a pink scaly patch or a sore on the skin that doesn’t heal,” says Dr. Gomez-Meade. While both cancers are unlikely to spread beyond the tumor site, they can destroy skin tissue where they grow and interfere with function. Most BCCs and SCCs can be cured with surgical removal, known as Mohs Surgery.
PREVENTION IS THE BEST CURE
Dr. Gomez-Meade emphasizes that sunscreen alone is not enough to protect yourself. “Wear sun protective clothing, which can be as simple as a hat, sunglasses, pants, or clothing with protection built in, known as UPF or ultraviolet protection factor, like Little Leaves sun protective clothing.”
And even if you’re spending more time in the car than on the beach, protection is still necessary.
UV rays can penetrate car windows and exposed skin even when the sun isn’t shining. UV rays bounce around under the clouds, off the snow, buildings, and more, causing damage, even on cloudy days.
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