American Cancer

American Cancer

Skin Cancer Awareness

Everyone loves spending time in the summer sun, but understanding the risks associated with sun exposure is important to prevent skin cancer and diagnose the problem sooner. Exposure to Ultraviolet B sunlight is the most common cause of skin cancer. UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds damages the DNA and allows skin cells to grow and become cancerous. Radiation treatment for skin cancer is the preferred treatment for skin cancer, particularly on the face.

Surgery is often difficult on the eyelids or facial skin and radiation treatments offer a non-invasive treatment option that produces excellent cosmetic results. The side effects of radiation treatment for skin cancer include redness of the skin, which is similar to sunburn. The redness fades within a few weeks after treatment is completed.

There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell, and carcinoma. The main radiation treatment used for skin cancer is electron beam radiation. This type of radiation does not penetrate deep into the skin, so unnecessary damage is avoided. Basal cell and squamous cell non-melanoma skin cancers can be treated with radiation.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer and occurs in the basal cells of the deepest layer of the epidermis. BCC typically occurs where the exposure to the sun is the greatest, such as the face. Basal cell carcinomas start out about the size of a pea and an ulcer or open sore forms in the center, as it continues to grow. This type of cancer causes itching or bleeding. The best way to prevent this cancer is to enjoy the sun safely and always protect your skin.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer and can be treated with skin cancer radiation. These cancers occur in the squamous cells, which comprise most of the epidermis. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur on any area of the body, but commonly arises on parts of the body where sun exposure is greatest, such as the ears.

Unlike melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinomas are highly curable with surgery and skin cancer radiation treatment. Often, these skin cancers can be cured radiation treatment for skin cancer and without surgery. In cancer radiation treatment, high energy rays are used to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing, which cause the cancer cells to die. A specialist, called a radiation oncologist supervises treatment and how the radiation beams are directed.

American Cancer