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10 Health Conditions That are More Common Than You Think


7
Skin Cancer

The sun gives us warmth and light, but it also can lead to the most widespread form of cancer on the planet: skin cancer.

The American Cancer Society breaks skin cancer into three types, based on the cells that become cancerous. Melanoma is a cancer of melanocytes, the cells that make the melanin that gives skin its color. It's perhaps the best known of the three, due in part to its lethality: Melanoma can move to other parts of the body and eventually lead to death [source: ACS].

But the other two skin cancers, basal and squamous cell skin cancer, account for the majority of cancer cases worldwide. Worldwide, more than 2 million new cases are diagnosed each year [source: ACS]. These are not highly lethal cancers -- only about 2,000 people die from them each year -- but treatment can range from uncomfortable surgery to the removal of tumors to chemotherapy, which can cause inflammation, scarring and other unpleasant symptoms [source: Mayo Clinic].

Thankfully, skin cancer prevention is not difficult. It simply involves protecting your skin from the sun using hats, clothing and sunscreen [source: ACS]. Skin cancer truly fits the cliché, "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure."


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