Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It is triggered when the DNA damages to the skin cells go unrepaired, causing genetic defects or certain sudden changes that cause the skin cells to multiply and form malignant tumours. The most common signs of skin cancer are changes in the skin such as moles, freckles or normal patches on the skin or even certain growths that do not heal.
Skin cancers are the most common type of cancers and they include melanoma, basal cell, and squamous cell. Basal cell and squamous cell are common and their treatment can be very effective. Skin cancer starts as pre-cancerous lesions that progress into cancer.
The first symptom may be the appearance of a discolored patch that may be the first present for few weeks and then disappear. Skin cancers may resemble several other skin conditions; in most cases they may be red and firm and sometimes they may turn into ulcers or cancerous patches that are flat and scaly.
The main cause of skin cancer may be exposure to Ultraviolet light. Other causes may be:
People with a higher risk of skin cancer may be:
People with fairer skin, individuals with genetic disorders such as albinism and Xeroderma pigmentosum (altered DNA as a result of ultraviolet light), people with numerous or large moles that are present at birth, people with severe sunburn early in life, individuals who have received an organ transplant.