What you need to know about skin cancer from the National Cancer Institute
This National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet has important information about skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in this country. About one million Americans develop skin cancer each year. You will read about causes and ways to prevent skin cancer. You will find information about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. You will also learn how to do a skin self-exam. Scientists are studying skin cancer to find out more about how it develops. And they are looking for better ways to prevent and treat it. There are many types of skin cancer. This booklet is about the two most common types, basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These are sometimes called nonmelanoma skin cancer....more from the National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Information on Basal Cell Carcinoma from the National Library of Medicine
Skin cancer is divided into two major groups: nonmelanoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 75% of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinoma starts in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. It grows slowly and is painless. A new skin growth that bleeds easily or does not heal well may suggest basal cell carcinoma. The majority of these cancers occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. They may also appear on the scalp. Basal cell skin cancer used to be more common in people over age 40, but is now often diagnosed in younger people....more from MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Information on Squamous Cell Skin Cancer from the National Library of Medicine
Squamous cell skin cancer is a type of tumor that affects the skin. Causes: Squamous cell cancer occurs when cells in the skin start to change. The changes may begin in normal skin or in skin that has been injured or inflamed. Most skin cancers occur on skin that is regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. Skin cancer is most often seen in people over age 50. Risks for squamous cell skin cancer include: A large number of x-rays; Arsenic; Chemical exposure; Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation; Having light-colored skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair; Older age....more from MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health
Information on Basal Cell Carcinoma from the Skin Cancer Foundation
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting approximately one million Americans each year. In fact, it is the most common of all cancers. More than one out of every three new cancers are skin cancers, and the vast majority are basal cell carcinomas. These cancers arise in the basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (top skin layer). THE MAJOR CAUSE: Almost all basal cell carcinomas occur on parts of the body excessively exposed to the sun — especially the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back....more from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Information on Squamous Cell Carcinoma from the Skin Cancer Foundation
More than 250,000 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are diagnosed every year. That makes it the second most common skin cancer (after basal cell carcinoma). This form of skin cancer arises in the squamous cells that make up most of the skin’s upper layers (epidermis). Squamous cell carcinomas may occur on all areas of the body including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, bald scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs....more from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Quiz: What's Your Sun-Safety IQ?
Take the quiz from the American Cancer Society.
Podcast: Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Dermatologist Dr. Pearon Lang discusses squamous cell carcinoma in this dermatology podcast at the Medical University of South Carolina Podcast Library.
Podcast: Soak Up the Sun
This podcast discusses skin cancer and ways to protect yourself and your family at the Center for Disease Control.
Video: Skin Cancer Introduction
View an informative skin cancer video presented by The Skin Cancer Foundation
Video: Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
A video presented by the American Cancer Society.
Guidelines for the management of basal cell carcinoma.
Dermatologists can make a confident clinical diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in most cases. Diagnostic accuracy is enhanced by good lighting and magnification and the dermatoscope may be helpful in some cases. Biopsy is indicated when clinical doubt exists or when patients are being referred for a subspecialty opinion, when the histological subtype of BCC may influence treatment selection and prognosis (See Table 1 in the original guideline document)...Read more at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Screening for skin cancer
Very limited evidence was available to inform the following recommendations on screening. No prospective studies have evaluated the impact of screening on survival, quality of life, or morbidity from treatment for skin cancer nor are there data on the adverse effects of screening for skin cancer. As experts in the treatment and epidemiology of skin cancer, the guideline panel members were aware that some individuals are at increased risk for skin cancer because of personal characteristics or history. They reviewed key papers on risk and identified groups of patients who might be expected to benefit from increased surveillance for skin cancer. Separate recommendations are offered for two groups at increased risk (very high risk and high risk) and the general population...Read more at the National Guideline Clearinghouse.
Abstract: Ultraviolet radiation: sun exposure, tanning beds, and vitamin D levels. What you need to know and how to decrease the risk of skin cancer.
This year, more than one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and an estimated 9800 individuals will die of the disease. Despite recent public education efforts and increased public awareness about the importance of the use of sunscreen and avoidance of ultraviolet radiation, the incidence of melanoma has more than tripled among white Americans from 1980 to 2001. This increase in cancer rates means that one person dies of melanoma in this country every hour of every day. The answer to this increasing problem is not a simple one, but public education seems to be a common starting point. The American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Dermatology have published recommendations with regard to sun exposure and sunscreen use. However, patients often ask questions that are not as easily answered. Questions such as, Which sunscreens are the safest? Are tanning beds safe? If I limit my sun exposure, do I need to take vitamin D supplements? If I tanned as a teenager, is the damage already done? How do I treat sunburn? Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Update on sunscreens.
Sunscreens have been around for more than 70 years. Designed originally to protect against sunburn, recognition of the various harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation has broadened the use of sunscreens. The addition of effective UVA sunscreen agents has enabled claims beyond protection against sunburn to include prevention of idiopathic photodermatosis, actinic keratoses, skin cancer, and photoaging. This article will review some of the recent advances in photoprotection, including the development of sunscreen formulations offering higher and broader protection against solar radiation. Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Bowen's disease - a review of newer treatment options.
Bowen's disease (squamous cell carcinoma in situ) has a 3%-5% risk to develop into invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer among Caucasians and its incidence has increased during the last decades dramatically. Multiple treatment options for Bowen's disease have been described and are established with advantages and disadvantages. Bowen's disease occurs more often in elderly patients (with a higher risk of comorbidities) and is frequently located on body sites with poor wound healing. Therefore there is need for non-invasive/non-destructive but effective treatment options. We would like to give an overview of established therapies and more detailed information about the newer treatment options for Bowen's disease with topical diclofenac, topical imiquimod and photodynamic therapy. Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Mohs micrographic surgery.
Mohs micrographic surgery is an approach to skin cancer removal that aims to achieve the highest possible rates of cure and to minimize the size of the wound and consequent distortions at critical sites such as the eyes, ears, nose, and lips. Mohs micrographic surgery is a two-step, same-day procedure performed with local anesthetic. It involves removing the tumor in stages by histologically confirming clear margins on frozen sections and by addressing the resultant defect. Options for healing include second intent, primary closure, local flaps, interpolation flaps, and grafts. Larger tumors may require referral for reconstructive surgery. Mohs micrographic surgery is the treatment of choice for skin tumors in critical sites, large or recurrent tumors, tumors in sites of radiation therapy, and tumors with aggressive histologic features. Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Review of photodynamic therapy in actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma.
The number of non-melanoma skin cancers is increasing worldwide, and so also the demand for effective treatment modalities. Topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) using aminolaevulinic acid or its methyl ester has recently become good treatment options for actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma; especially when treating large areas and areas with field cancerization. The cure rates are usually good, and the cosmetic outcomes excellent. The only major side effect reported is the pain experienced by the patients during treatment. This review covers the fundamental aspects of topical PDT and its application for treatment of actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma. Both potentials and limitations will be reviewed, as well as some recent development within the field. Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Imiquimod 5% cream (Aldara) in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma.
Skin cancer, the most common human cancer, is now a global epidemic. The most prevalent form of nonmelanoma skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the incidence of which continues to increase prompting development of new treatment modalities designed to add or complement current therapies. Although destructive modalities continue to be an important treatment options for BCC, nondestructive measures are a welcome addition to our therapeutic choices. Imiquimod, a topical immune response modifier, belongs to the family of immunostimulators. It enhances both the innate and acquired immune response, and has successfully treated both superficial and nodular basal cell carcinomas through the localized activation of elaborate immune response. Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Nonmelanoma skin cancer and risk for subsequent malignancy.
BACKGROUND: Individuals with a personal history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) may have an increased risk of subsequent noncutaneous malignancies. To test this hypothesis, we carried out a community-based, prospective cohort study. METHODS: In the CLUE (Give Us a Clue to Cancer and Heart Disease) II cohort, which was established in Washington County, MD, in 1989, the risk of new malignancies was compared among individuals with (n = 769) and without (n = 18,405) a personal history of NMSC (total n = 19,174) during a 16-year follow-up period. Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Sun exposure and vitamin D sufficiency.
Ultraviolet radiation is a carcinogen that also compromises skin appearance and function. Because the ultraviolet action spectra for DNA damage, skin cancer, and vitamin D(3) photosynthesis are identical and vitamin D is readily available from oral supplements, why has sun protection become controversial? Full text available free through PubMed.
Abstract: Skin cancer in organ transplant recipients--where do we stand today?
Skin cancers are the most frequent malignancies in organ transplant recipients (OTR), with 95% being nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC), especially squamous (SCC) and basal cell carcinomas. Most OTR with a first SCC subsequently develop multiple NMSC within 5 years, highlighting the concept of 'field cancerization', and are also at high risk for noncutaneous cancers. See Abstract at PubMed.
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To find out who the top doctors are around the country, nonprofit Consumers' CHECKBOOK surveyed roughly 340,000 physicians to tell us which specialists they would want to care for a loved one. The Top Doctors database contains the names of over 23,000 doctors who were mentioned most often. Find top-rated doctors in the fifty largest metropolitan areas, in over thirty-five specialties, and more.
Source: National Cancer Institute, NIH.
Anatomy: The Skin
Source: American Academy of Dermatology
Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month
Consumers' Guide to Top Doctors finds the Doctors Rated Best by other Doctors in over 30 specialties.
database of 23,000 top-rated physicians by
Doctors database of 23,000 top-rated
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Public Service Announcement
From the American Academy of Dermatologists
Consumers' Guide to Hospitals
Which Hospital Should You Choose (or Avoid)?
What makes the Consumers' Guide to Hospitals so special?
We've got 30 million answers to that question. That's how many hospital records Consumers' CHECKBOOK sifted through to calculate risk-adjusted death rates and adverse-outcome rates, and that's just part of the data used to rate the hospitals. The organization also sent out more than 280,000 questionnaires to physicians in 53 major metropolitan areas in the United States, asking them to rate their local hospitals; checked ratings of the hospitals by surveyed consumers; checked which hospitals were providing recommended tests and procedures for patients with specified medical problems; and more."
AARP The Magazine
A Public Service Announcement
Source: Australian Cancer Council
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