Should I be worried about Basal Cell cancer?
With skin cancer affecting more than a million Americans a year, Basal cell carcinoma will account for more than 90 percent of these cases. The odds are one in five that you will get some form of skin cancer in your lifetime and many experts believe this number will get worse before it gets better.
Knowing these facts, most would agree that a person should be concerned. The good news, detection of basal cell is fairly simple and when caught early, treatment options are available. With a cure rate for basal cell carcinoma above 95 percent, this would be the skin cancer to have but not having any, of course, would be best.
Three factors that increase the odds:
- Amount of time outdoors: People who spend a lot of time outdoors, working and playing
- Geographic location: The further south you live, the more hours of sunlight received
- Skin type: Fair skinned, light hair and light eyes make up the characteristic of a person more likely to get a form of skin cancer.
What is basal cell carcinoma and how did I get it?
Also called basal cell epithelioma, basal cell cancer, BCC and in some areas it is called Rodent Ulcer. This skin cancer forms in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis which contains three kinds of cells: flat, scaly cells on the surface called squamous cells; round cells called basal cells; and cells called melanocytes, which give your skin its color.
Usually Basal cell cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun, often the damage is done during ones youth and doesn't show up until many years later. Sunlight contains ultraviolet light which is a form of radiation, and when there is overexposure the skin burns. This is what damages the skin and in turn leading to skin cancer.
Artificial sources of UV radiation, such as sunlamps and tanning booths, can also cause skin cancer. It has also been known that working with carcinogenic chemicals, especially arsenic, may cause skin cancer also.