Skin cancer is most common, preventable form of cancer

| July 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

Shari Lopatin
TriWest Healthcare Alliance



PHOENIX — Each year, more Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries and pancreas — combined.

All together, that equals 2 million new cases of skin cancer a year, making it more common than any other cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

The majority of skin cancers are caused from too many UV rays, which can come from the sun or tanning beds.

The American Cancer Society says — if caught early enough — skin cancer can usually be treated effectively.

“Finding possible skin cancers doesn’t require any X-rays or blood tests, just your eyes and a mirror,” the society says on its website.

Individuals can check their own skin, preferably once a month, for any suspicious growths or changing moles.

People should also limit their exposure to the sun. Besides wearing sunscreen, the American Cancer Society suggests slipping on a T-shirt, wearing a hat and sporting some sunglasses.

Also, stay away from tanning beds and sunlamps.

According to the National Cancer Institute, three types of skin cancer are the most common:

•Basal Cell Skin Cancer. These cancer cells rarely spread to other parts of the body, so they are the least deadly.

•Melanoma. The deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma begins in skin pigment cells and is most likely to spread to other parts of the body.

•Squamous Cell Skin Cancer. These cancer cells sometimes spread to other parts of the body, but not as much as melanoma.

More information on skin cancers can be found at For more healthy living tips, visit TriWest’s Healthy Living Portal at


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Category: Community, Health

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