Skin cancer develops when there is a mutation or some error in the DNA of your skin cells. As a result of this mutation, your cells start to grow in an erratic way. Since they are growing with no control, they develop a mass that consists of cancer cells.
Skin cancer usually starts on the external layer of your skin. This layer of your skin is called the epidermis. The epidermis is what protects your body from everything that is going on outside of the body. Your epidermis has three types of cells. They are squamous, basal, and melanocyte cells. Each one of these cells affects a different part of your skin. Some determine your skin color, some affect the interlining of your skin, and some are designed to produce the deeper layers of your skin.
Skin cancer develops in different cells in the epidermis, depending on the condition that triggered the cancer. One culprit when it comes to the development of this disease is UV radiation. Researchers have seen the damage that UV radiation can cause to a person’s skin cells. UV radiation is just about everywhere. The number one source of UV radiation exposure is the sun. However, some people increase their exposure by using tanning beds.
Of course, UV exposure is not the sole culprit when it comes to developing skin cancer. This is because there are many individuals who develop it on parts of their body that are rarely exposed to the sun. So, this would indicate that there are other factors that can lead to a person developing the disease. Some of these factors may include damage to your immune system or exposure to toxic substances.
Skin cancer affects individuals with lighter skin more than it does those with darker skin. This does not mean that a person with darker skin is immune. To the contrary, anyone, regardless of the color of their skin, is at risk.
What it does mean is that individuals who have more melanin in their skin have a greater layer of protection from the sun’s UV rays. If an individual not only has light skin but also has light eyes, is prone to sunburn, and has light hair, they are at a higher risk of getting skin cancer than a person with darker skin, eyes, and hair. Researchers found that those who sunburn frequently or have had sunburns that produced blisters, especially when they were young, have an increased risk of skin cancer as adults.
Another situation that increases your risk factor for developing skin cancer is having abnormal moles. Abnormal moles have a higher chance of becoming cancerous than normal moles. If you have abnormal moles, you want to watch them and have any change in the size, shape, color, texture, or state of your mole examined by one of our medical professionals.
Finally, if you have family members who have had skin cancer, you are at a greater risk of developing this disease. Thankfully, when it is caught early, this type of cancer is the easiest to treat. It has the highest success rate, and many times, it can be eliminated without the need for chemotherapy.
The experts at Coastal Dermatology & Plastic Surgery treat all types of skin cancer, and we will develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored just for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our offices in Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Tustin, or Mission Viejo.