When cells grow abnormally in any area of the body, it can result in cancer. Skin cancer happens when these cells grow on the skin. Skin cancer is a common type of cancer that has a high survival rate when detected early.
Any kind of cancer is difficult to go through. When battling skin cancer, the focus should be on being healthy and healing. The Rx Advocates want to take away the stress of expensive medications. Our discount program can help.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. It is also the most common worldwide. The following are some facts about skin cancer.
- There are more the 9,500 people in the U.S. diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
- Every hour, more than two people will die because of this cancer.
- By the age of 70, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. will develop skin cancer.
- Skin cancer is diagnosed in more people every year than all other cancers combined.
Skin cancer begins in the epidermis. This is the top layer of skin. Three types of cells can get involved in skin cancer:
- Squamous cells: These are like the inner lining of the skin. They are below the outer surface of the skin.
- Basal cells: These are below squamous cells and make new skin cells.
- Melanocytes: These are in the lower epidermis and produce melanin. They help protect the deep layers of your skin from the sun.
Different Types of Skin Cancer
As with other cancers, the type of skin cancer is important. The treatment and prognosis will depend on the type and stage of cancer.
The types of skin cancer are:
- Basal cell
- Squamous cell
- Markell cell
- Lymphoma of the skin
- Kaposi sarcoma
Skin Cancer Causes
Cancer of the skin begins when there are mutations in the skin cells. A mass of cancer cells will form when the cells grow out of control.
The biggest cause of skin cancer is damage from UV (ultraviolet) rays. These are in sunlight and the lights of tanning beds. However, it is not always the reason. There are additional risk factors.
- Fair skin
- A history of sunburns
- Too much sun exposure
- Climates that are sunny or high-altitude
- Precancerous skin lesions
- Skin cancer family or personal history
- Weakened immune system
- Radiation exposure
- Exposure to certain toxic substances
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
There are different things to watch for on the skin, especially if any of the risk factors above are present. Most commonly, there will be changes in the skin. This could be a sore that is not healing, new growth, or changes in a growth that has already been there, such as a mole.
The CDC has developed an easy way for people to remember what warning signs to look for. They are the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma:
- Asymmetrical: Is the shape irregular? Are there two parts that look very different?
- Border: Does it have a jagged or irregular border?
- Color: Does it have an uneven color?
- Diameter: Is it larger than a pea?
- Evolving: Has the spot changed in the last couple of weeks or months?
If there are any significant changes in the skin, always contact a doctor to have it checked.
There are different treatment options for skin cancer. It will be determined by a team of doctors based on the type of cancer, the patient history, and the stage of cancer. Most often, doctors will use a combination of treatments.
The standard treatments are:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
- Chemical peel
- Other drug therapy
There are different medications that could be prescribed, depending on the type of skin cancer.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Merkel Cell Carcinoma
- Bavencio (Avelumab)
- Keytruda (Pembrolizumab)
Help With Medications
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- Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics. May 2022. Available at: skincancer.org.
- American Cancer Society. Skin Cancer: Types of Skin Cancer. August, 2022. Available at: cancer.org.
- Mayo Clinic. Skin Cancer. December 5, 2020. Available at: mayoclinic.org.
- Centers for Disease Control. Skin Cancer: What Are the Symptoms?. April 18, 2022. Available at: cdc.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Skin Cancer Treatment. August 27, 2021. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Drugs Approved for Skin Cancer. April 20, 2021. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Imiquimod. October 19, 2020. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Fluorouracil (Topical). August 15, 2019. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Sonidegib. December 16, 2020. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Pembrolizumab. March 25, 2022. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Cemiplimab-rwlc. February 26, 2021. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Tebentafusp-tebn. May 16, 2022. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Binimetinib. July 22, 2022. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Dacarbazine. October 7, 2020. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Cobimetinib Fumarate. July 22, 2022. Available at: cancer.gov.
- National Cancer Institute. Avelumab. January 28, 2022. Available at: cancer.gov.