Melanoma, Basal cell and Squamous cell or for the layperson often known as skin cancer is on the rise especially due to the frequent use of sun lamps (tanning beds/booths). However, skin cancer should not be taken lightly. In 2011 there were greater than 70,000 new cases of Melanoma reported and approximately 9,000 deaths, but it is important to note that rapid increases have occurred among white women aged 15 to 39 years, approximately 2 million individuals have been treated for Basal cell and Squamous cell skin cancer.
A schematic of the skin can be found at http://www.cancer.gov (search skin cancer). The schematic shows the layers of the skin and provides a basic idea where the squamous cell, basal cell, and melanocyte are located. You can also find additional information about the cell types at http://www.cancer.gov . Sunlight and tanning booths are a common source of UV radiation and is probably the most important risk factor for any type of skin cancer. The sun’s rays cause skin damage that can lead to cancer. Although, a sun lamp is an artificial source of UV radiation it does cause skin damage. Of course, a personal and a family history of skin cancer will increase your risk. A list of risk factors, as well as, preventative measures and treatments can be found at http://www.cancer.gov.
We often think of a change in an exiting mole or a new mole when thinking of Melanoma. However remember the ABCDE, Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving. Common symptoms of Basal cell and Squamous cell can be found at http://www.cancer.gov
Since my area of expertise is the oversight and management of Clinical Trials I would be remise if I did not mention this avenue to you. To find out about clinical trials that are active for non-melanoma (basal cell and squamous cell), Melanoma and other types of skin cancer, for example Kaposi’s Sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, T-cell Lymphoma and, Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma go to http://www.clinicaltrials.gov