Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with over 5 million new cases diagnosed each year.
It is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can damage the DNA in skin cells, leading to cancer.
Types of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC)
There are two main types of Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC): basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of NMSC, accounting for about 75% of all cases. It is usually slow-growing and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of NMSC, accounting for about 20% of all cases. It is also usually slow-growing, but it can spread to other parts of the body if it is not treated.
Risk Factors for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC)
The following factors increase your risk of developing NMSC:
- Fair skin: People with fair skin are more likely to develop NMSC because they have less melanin, which is the pigment that protects the skin from UV rays.
- A family history of skin cancer: People who have a family history of skin cancer are more likely to develop NMSC.
- A lot of moles: People with a lot of moles are more likely to develop NMSC.
- Sun exposure: People who are exposed to the sun for long periods are more likely to develop NMSC.
- Tanning beds and sunlamps: People who use tanning beds and sunlamps are more likely to develop NMSC.
Symptoms of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC)
The symptoms of NMSC can vary depending on the type of cancer. BCCs can appear as small, raised bumps, white or pink growths, or open sores. SCCs can appear as red, scaly patches, or open sores.
If you have any changes in your skin that are new, growing, or bleeding, see your doctor right away. Early detection and treatment are essential for improving the chances of survival.
Prevention of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC)
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing NMSC, including:
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses when you are outdoors.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.
- Stay in the shade during the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Check your skin regularly for any changes.
Treatment of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC)
If you are diagnosed with NMSC, there are several treatments available, including:
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for NMSC. The doctor will remove the cancer and some of the surrounding healthy tissue.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
The treatment you receive will depend on the size, location, and type of cancer.
NMSC is a serious condition, but it is often curable if it is detected early. By following the tips in this presentation, you can reduce your risk of developing NMSC and increase your chances of survival if you are diagnosed with this condition.