10 Health Conditions That are More Common Than You Think

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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