Thursday, January 3, 2013

How Does Skin Cancer Form

How Does Skin Cancer Form?
By Paul Bright, eHow Contributor

Sun Damage

Skin cancer, the most common form of cancer, usually forms with inappropriate exposure to the sun. In the case of basal cell carcinoma, cancer can form from intermittent exposure, like during vacations. For squamous cell carcinoma, it can develop from an accumulation of overexposure to the sun over a long period of time. Overexposure can create pre-cancerous areas in places like the back of the neck, forehead and on the cheeks. Within 5 years, lesions can appear in those places that were damaged the most.

Other UV Rays

Although the sun's ultraviolet rays are a leading cause of skin cancer, man-made rays are just as deadly. UV rays from tanning booths can also cause skin cancer if you overexpose himself. One of the highest risk groups for this exposure is adolescents who frequently use tanning booths and then overexpose themselves to the sun.

Physical Defects

One of the first signs in the formation of skin cancer come from unusual moles on the skin. It is common for you to get new moles and spots on your skin over time, but moles that change colors or shapes are not typical. Basal cell carcinoma moles tend to be darker than other moles. Dysplastic nevi, which have irregular borders and are larger than other moles, are more likely to develop into cancerous melanoma moles. Unusually shaped growths can also indicate skin cancer.

Skin patches are also an indicator of skin cancer. These patches can occur anywhere that there has been overexposure. Skin cancer on the lip can be indicated by a scaly, deep-red formation. Basal cell carcinoma patches are also dry and scaly, appearing slowly over time on the back. These patches can actually migrate to the ears and eyes.

Squamous Cells

Squamous cell carcinoma starts off as solar keratosis. This appears as rough, reddened bumps along sun-damaged skin. These usually show up on the ears, face back and scalp. Keratosis that has progressed deeper into the skin will be larger and thicker. Squamous cells can also take the form of Bowen's Disease. These are scaly patches appearing on the lower half of the body.