We all know that the existence of life and our galaxy is not possible without the sun. The sun is not simply the center of our vast universe. It benefits us, humans, insofar that it provides the vitamin that would be difficult to acquire from any other source aside from the sun’s rays. However, just like almost everything on earth and in the universe if not really everything, the sun is not wholly beneficial. It could also pose threats to our health and lives. One of the most life-threatening risks of being overly exposed to the sun’s scorching heat would be skin cancer.
Before digging deep into the skin cancer topic, the sun also brings about various skin problems. Exposure to the sun could cause wrinkles and age spots. It could also discolour the skin. It may also cause freckles and elastosis. But perhaps the sun’s most dangerous effect would be causing cancerous skin lesions, and this connects us to our topic in focus- skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and the number of cases continues to grow. Basically, skin cancer is the growth of abnormal skin cells. Exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. That is why many people shifted to tanning beds to have their skin tanned. However, the artificial ultraviolet rays from tanning beds are just as dangerous. Moreover, exposure during winter is just as threatening as exposure during the summer. The other minor causes of skin cancer are exposure to x-ray radiation and exposure to certain types of chemicals.
Everyone is in danger of having skin cancer but people with fair complexion, freckled skin, light eyes, and blonde or red hair have higher risk. Of course, people with darker skin color could also acquire skin cancer but their risk is considerably lower. Other risk factors include family history of skin cancer, having a job that exposes you to the sun’s rays, and living in a place where the climate is sunny.
The most common symptoms of skin cancer are unusual changes on the skin like emergence of moles and skin lesions, and changes in a mole. Skin cancer is diagnosed through the process called biopsy. This procedure involves taking of the skin tissue, placing the sample under the microscope, and examination of the sample by a healthcare expert particularly a dermatologist or a doctor who specializes in skin problems.
Skin cancer treatment is a case-to-case basis. It depends on the type of the skin cancer since there are three known types including melanoma. Treatment is also dependent on the location of the cancer, its size, and the patient’s preference. Possible treatment procedures could include surgery, medications, and radiation therapy.
Nothing can reverse the harmful effects of sun damage so, just like how the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Make it a routine to apply sunscreen or any other form of sun protection product preferably with higher SPF. Select the right clothing and cosmetic products that would help protect the skin. Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes.