Skin Cancer

Currently, one of the most common cancers worldwide is skin cancer. More accurately, there are three forms of cancer of the skin, as there are 3 main types of skin cancer.

The most common, and least dangerous is a so called rodent ulcer, or basal cell carcinoma, followed by the skin cancer called Squamous cell carcinoma and finally we have what I would consider to be the most well known form of skin cancer, which while it is the most lethal is also the rarest; malignant melanoma.

Malignant Melanoma

Although malignant melanoma is the rarest, since it is also the deadliest, it is worth having a look at what it is. This cancer is responsible for about 1 per cent of cancers, and is a tumor in the cells that create melanin, the melancytes. Melanin is the pigment that gives you your sun tan, and gives your skin the color it has normally. It is also responsible for the color of your eyes and your hair, which means that malignant melanoma, can also affect the eyes and not just the skin.

It is reassuring to know that at least for now, skin melanomas are quite uncommon in children. However, because half of all the sun exposure the skin gets happens before the age of 18, and the time delay for the time it needs to develop, it is essential to stop your children from getting sunburns.

Sun Exposure Dangerous?

With the growth of pollution, the shrinking ozone layer and spreading of awareness of what UV rays can do, there is a rising sense that sun exposure can be bad for us and that we need to shield ourselves from ultra violet light waves. It is clear that it is the sun that is cause of the problems as the number of people with skin cancer varies depending on country, the tropical countries with large Caucasian populations having the highest incidents of skin cancer.

Countries like Australia, South Africa and southern American states with a lot of sunshine and Caucasian population have skin cancer incidences that are directly proportionate with the amount of sunlight and size of the Caucasian population.

Darker skin types like those of us with an African American or Asian background get better protection against the sunlight because of their darker skin coloring.

UV Rays

Ultra violet light is part of the sunshine and it is that light that is causing the problem. UV light come in different types, but they are all essentially bad for pale skin, and particularly babies and children are very much at risk because they have thinner skin than adults.

Cases of skin cancer have doubled their numbers every decade for the last 40 years. This correlates with the introduction of cheap cruises and vacations to sunnier climates. Now that these trips are widely available and sunbathing is such a popular past time, skin cancer instances are set to continue this rise unless people begin to take the necessary precautions to prevent getting burnt by the hot ultra violet rays from the sun.