Skin cancer develops when there is mutation in the DNA of skin cells.

Skin cancer is divided in two big grous: malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. The former group, malignant melanoma, is a rare form of cancer, but it is the most dangerous as it develops metastases early in the outbreak of the disease.  It can develop anywhere on the body, even in “hidden” places, for e.g. beneath the nails. The latter group includes non-malignant melanoma, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cells carcinoma and Kaposhi’s sarcoma.

It is very important to check you skin regularly. This can help to detect cancer in early stages, which implies possible successful treatment.



The cause of skin cancer (especially malignant melanoma, basal cellular skin and squamous cell carcinoma) can be:

  • Long exposure to the sun or harmful UV rays
  • Tanning beds
  • HIV for Kaposhi’s sarcoma
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Weak immune system



Skin cancers may be smooth red lumps, that can bleed sometimes or be itchy or they can be in form of a flat, red crusty spot. Those that develop on damaged areas by sun exposure, usually appear on the face, neck, bald scalps, arms, palms, and lower legs. They feel tender to touch, have a hard and crusty cap, and bleed sometimes.


Skin Cancer Risk factors

  • Long exposure to the UV light from the sun
  • Tanning beds
  • Weak immune system, HIV
  • History of sunburns
  • Fair skin as those persons lack melanin, a pigment that gives color and protects the skin from the harmful UV rays
  • Moles
  • Pre-cancerous skin lesions
  • Exposure to radiation or certain toxic substances
  • Family history of skin cancer



Here are some tips that can help to prevent skin cancer:

  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day
  • Always wear sunscreen  – use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15; if you're swimming, reapply every two hours or more often.
  • Wear protective clothing – cover your skin with dark clothing that covers your arms and legs, a hat, which provides more protection; wear sunglasses, possibly ones that block UVA and UVB rays
  • Avoid tanning beds because they emit UV rays
  • If you use sun-sensitizing medications, ask your doctor about the side effects of any medications you take
  • Check your skin regularly and visit your doctor if you notice any changes – look for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps, or birthmarks.