What is Cancer? • Occurs when cells in a body part begin to grow out of control and crowd out normal cells.
What is Skin Cancer? • Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. • Most skin cancers are: • slow-growing • easy to recognize • relatively easy to treat when detected early Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, mostly from the sun but also from tanning beds.
The American Cancer Society Estimates • More than one million new cases of basal and squamous cell cancers occur annually in the United States. • The most serious form of skin cancer is melanoma. • This year approximately 68,720 people will be diagnosed with melanoma and approximately 8,650 will die. • Melanoma rates are more than 10 times higher in Caucasians than in African Americans.
Two Types of Skin Cancer • 1. Non-Melanomas – (most common skin cancers) • Include Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Cancers • Can be fast or slow growing, but rarely spread • Found on sun exposed parts of body like the head and neck • This year approximately 2,940 people will die from non-melanoma skin cancer
Types of Skin Cancer • Melanomas • Can occur anywhere on the body • Less common, but more serious • Almost always curable when detected early • More likely to spread to other parts of body • This year approximately 8,650 people will die from melanoma
What is Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation? • Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a form of invisible energy given off by the sun • UV rays are divided into 3 wavelength ranges: • UVA Rays, causes long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but also play a role in some skin cancers. • UVB Rays, direct damage to DNA, these rays cause sunburns, cause most skin cancers. • UVC Rays, do not penetrate atmosphere, not present in sunlight. • There are NO safe UV Rays!
What is a tan? • Tanning, like sunburn, is literally a form of skin injury. • Ultraviolet radiation can damage your DNA at a cellular level, which can lead to cancer. • Although people with light skin are more susceptible, darker skinned people can also be affected.
What about tanning beds? • There is no evidence that tanning in a bed is any safer than tanning in the sun -- in fact, some tanning beds release much stronger UV light than the sun does. • There is a 75% increase in risk for melanoma among those who first use tanning beds in their teens and early twenties.
Who is prone to sun damage? Everyone! Everyone's skin and eyes can be affected by the sun and other forms of UV rays. Although people with light skin are much more likely to have sun damage, darker-skinned people, including African Americans and Hispanic Americans, also can be affected.
Factors that Increase Risk of Skin Cancer • Individuals who are lighter skinned, have freckles, and have blond, red, or light brown hair. • Individuals who work outdoors and or live in high altitudes (due to increased UV rays). • Prior treatment with immune suppressing medicine. • Excessive exposure to light from tanning lamps, booths or sunlight.
Steps for Sun Protection • Limit your sun exposure during 10am-4pm • Cover up your skin, especially your arms and legs. • Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect eyes, ears, and face. • Wear wrap-around sunglasses. • Use sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, and be sure to re-apply. • Avoid artificial sources of UV light (tanning beds)
What About Tanning Products? Tanning Pills • The additives are distributed throughout the body, especially the skin, turning it an orange-like color. • They are not approved for use as tanning agents and may be harmful. • Tanning Accelerators • Such as lotions or pills that contain the amino acid tyrosine or its derivatives, are not effective and may be dangerous. • Bronzers and Extenders • Not considered harmful when used properly. These products do not protect against UV exposure.
When Should I be Screened? • Get a cancer-related checkup by a doctor, including skin examination, every three years between ages 20 and 40 and annually for those 40 and older. • See a doctor immediately if you notice any warning signs. • It’s important to check your own skin, preferably once per month.
What Should I Look For? • Basal cell cancers and squamous cell cancers are most often found in areas that get exposed to a lot of sun, such as the head, neck, and arms, but they can occur elsewhere. • Look for new growths, spots, bumps, patches, or sores that don't heal after 2 to 3 months.
Use ABCD Rule to Spot Melanoma • A (Asymmetry) one portion of the mole does not match the other • B (Border) edges are irregular, notched, or blurred • C (Color) different shades of black or brown, patchy colors • D (Diameter) spot is 6 millimeters across, or growing larger A B C D
Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma • Change in the size, shape or color of a mole, such as: • Signs that a mole’s border is becoming more ragged • Spread of pigmentation beyond its border • Scaliness, bleeding or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule • Change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness or pain in a mole or other growth
How to Check Your Skin: • Face the mirror: Check your face, ears, neck, chest, and belly. Women will need to lift breasts to check the skin underneath.
Face the Mirror Check the underarm areas, both sides of the arms, the tops and bottoms of your hands, in between your fingers, and fingernail beds.
Sit Down Check the front of your thighs, shins, tops of your feet, in between your toes, and toenail beds.
You will need a hand mirror for your thighs, back, and scalp.Now look at the bottoms of your feet, your calves, and the backs of your thighs, first checking one leg and then the other.
Use the hand mirror to check the buttocks, genital area, lower back, upper back, and the back of the neck. Or it may be easier to look at your back in the wall mirror using a hand mirror.
Use a comb or hair dryer to part your hair so that you can check your scalp.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis • History and Physical Exam • Dermascopy • Skin Biopsy
Treatment Options • Surgery • Cryosurgery • Laser Surgery • Skin Grafting & Reconstructive Surgery • Chemotherapy • Radiation Therapy
Survival Rates for Melanoma • Five-year survival rate when melanoma is found early at its earliest stage…..99% • Five-year survival rate when melanoma is found after it has spread……..18%
Three Things To Remember • Nearly all skin cancers are preventable by limiting unprotected exposure to the sun. • Most skin cancers can be treated successfully if detected early – even melanoma. • When out in the sun, seek shade and “Slip! Slop! Slap! Wrap!” • Slipon a shirt • Slopon SPF 15+ sunscreen • Slapon a hat • Wrapon sunglasses
If you are affected by cancer Call Us! Having Cancer is Hard. Finding help isn’t. Information on Cancer. Rides to Treatment. Financial Assistance. Wigs. Emotional Support. All American Cancer Society services are free. Call 1.800.ACS.2345 today!
How to get involved with ACS • More than two million volunteers nationwide are currently making a difference in the fight against cancer. • We invite you to join them. • Volunteer in local cancer centers • Provide rides to cancer treatment • Join a community event • Join ACS Cancer Action Network and contact legislators on cancer issues
Want to learn more? Call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org for more information