Treatment of skin cancer depends on the
- type of skin cancer
- its stage and location and the
- individual's age and overall health
People with small basal cell carcinomas, for instance, may need only simple treatment. That's because basal cell cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body and seldom are fatal. Squamous cell carcinomas have a greater tendency to spread, and may require more treatment. Malignant melanoma may require complicated treatment because of its high risk for spreading.
Cancers go through distinct periods, phases, or stages in their growth. The process of determining the stage of cancer is called "staging." A doctor must know the stage of a cancer in order to pick the most effective treatment. Advanced cancer that has spread needs treatment quite different than localized cancer growing only in the original tumor site.
Skin cancer is "staged" by information obtained from various tests. Doctors usually divide skin cancer into two stages, localized and metastatic.
Doctors often can recognize skin cancer just by looking at it.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Energy from the sun actually is a form of radiation. It consists of visible light and other rays that people can't see. Invisible infrared radiation, for instance, makes sunlight feel hot. UV also is invisible, and causes sunburn and sun tan.
Skin cancer is a disease in which skin cells grow abnormally. In healthy skin new cells develop all the time to replace older cells. These normal new cells multiply and grow in an orderly way.
If skin cells grow out of control they form a mass or 'tumor'.
A skin tumor is considered benign (not cancer) if it is limited to a few cell layers and does not invade surrounding tissues or organs. But if the tumor spreads to surrounding tissues it is considered malignant or cancerous.
Here are some reliable sources that can provide more information on prostate cancer.
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Phone: (800) ACS-2345 (toll-free hotline)
National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cancer Information Service
Phone: (800) 4-CANCER
American Urological Association
Here are definitions of medical terms related to to prostate cancer.
Antioxidants: Substances that can neutralize the effects that free radicals may have on the body. Free radicals are formed during the natural course of metabolism and have been linked to various types of tissue damage, including the development of cancer.
Benign: Not cancerous.
BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia): The non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, fairly common in men over age 50.
Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to prostate cancer.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to to prostate cancer.
Q: Is prostate enlargement the same as prostate cancer?
Because it is not clear what causes prostate cancer, there is no guarantee of prevention. However, experts believe that you can reduce your risk for many types of cancer by:
- Not smoking
- Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet
- Getting plenty of exercise
Recent nutritional studies have suggested that: