skin cancer guide
skin cancer: All about skin cancer
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skin cancer guide

We can divide skin cancer into 2 main categories: non-melanoma and melanoma.Enjoy it 


The category of non-melanoma skin cancer is the cancer most often diagnosed in Caucasian. We talk relatively little, because it rarely results in death. Moreover, it is difficult to take a census of cases.

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common forms of non-melanoma. They usually occur in the elderly over 50 years.

Basal cell carcinoma alone constitutes about 90% of skin cancers. It is formed in the deepest layer of the epidermis. There are several types of basal cell carcinomas. The most common usually affects the face: it causes a lesion of a few millimeters in diameter, flesh-colored or pink, that does not heal.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the ability to generate metastasis, but this is rare (less than 1% of cases). Metastasis are secondary tumors which are formed away from the original tumor, after cancer cells are dissociated therefrom.


Is the name given to melanoma malignant tumors which form in the melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin (a pigment) and which are in particular in the skin and eyes. They usually appear with a black stain.

With 5300 estimated new cases in Canada in 2010, melanoma is the seventh most common cancer diagnosed in countries11.

Melanomas can occur at any age. They are among the cancers that can progress rapidly and generate metastases. They are responsible for 75% of deaths from skin cancer. Fortunately, if detected early, can be successfully treated.

Note. It was once believed that there could be benign melanomas (well-defined tumors that are not likely to invade the body) and malignant melanomas. We now know that all melanomas are malignant.


Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer.

Artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation (sun lamps tanning salons) are also involved. Parts of the body commonly exposed to the sun are most at risk (face, neck, hands, arms). That said, a skin cancer can form anywhere.

To a lesser extent, the extended skin contact with chemicals, especially as part of a job, can increase the risk of suffering from a skin cancer.

Some numbers

– In countries where the majority of the population has white skin, cases of skin cancer are likely to double between 2000 and 2015, according to a report of the United Nations (UN) 1 .

– In Canada, this is the type of cancer whose incidence is increasing most rapidly, with an increase of 1.6% each year.

– An estimated 50% of people over 65 have at least one skin cancer before the end of their lives.

– Skin cancer is the most common form of secondary cancer: what is meant is that a person having or having had cancer is more likely to have another, usually a skin cancer.


It is primarily a clinical examination that allows the doctor to know if the injury is likely to be cancerous or not.

Dermoscopy: This is a review with a kind of magnifying glass called dermoscope, which allows to see the structure of skin lesions and to refine their diagnosis.

Biopsy. If the doctor suspects cancer, he takes a skin sample at the location of the suspicious event, in order to subject it to a laboratory analysis. This will allow him whether the tissue is cancerous and indeed this will give him an idea of ​​the state of disease progression.

Other tests. If the biopsy shows that the subject has cancer, the doctor will ask other tests to assess in more detail the stage of disease progression. The tests reveal whether the cancer is still confined locally or has begun to spread outside the skin tissue.

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