A Look at Skin Cancer Causes and Treatment

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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer that affects humans today. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and accounts for almost twenty-five percent of all skin cancers diagnosed in the United States. The more aggressive form melanoma is also known as acral lentiginous melanoma. The most familiar type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma or the type that forms on the basal cells of the epidermis, and accounts for ninety-five percent of all cases. The appearance of the skin lesions depends on the particular kind of melanoma: malignant (but can be cured by surgery), a non-cancerous (but will most likely remain malignant), and both.

There are several kinds of skin cancer that affect the hair. Acral lentiginous melanoma usually appears on the head, arms, chest, back, and upper lip and in fair-skinned people. These lesions are flat, soft, and light brown or black in color and grow quickly, sometimes taking months to grow one centimeter per year. The lesions usually have no breakouts and are not painful. They are more common on the scalp, chest, arms, legs, and eyebrows than on the face and/or limbs.

Sometimes, melanoma can form on the top layers of the skin. Treatment for these types of skin lesions requires the patient to have a surgical procedure called a keratotomy. This procedure involves removing part of the hair in an area affected by the mole. Thereafter, the remaining skin from the affected site is removed and sent to a dermatologist for examination and treatments. Keratotomy is the most common type of surgical procedure used for removing skin cancer.

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