An Introduction To Skin Cancer
All body tissue is composed of small units called cells. Cells make up all parts of the skin, vital organs, bones, etc. Although cells of different body tissue vary in shape and function they all reproduce through cell division. Each cell divides and reproduces an exact copy of itself. As cells complete their functions and die, other cells of the same type grow to take their place. This process of cell division is called "mitosis," and the complete series of events from one cell division to the next is called the cell cycle.
Normally the growth and repair of body tissue takes place in an orderly fashion. When cells change in appearance or function, or stop dividing normally and begin multiplying in an uncontrolled manner, the resulting tissue growth is called "abnormal." The build up of abnormal tissue in any location of the body is a called a tumor.
A tumor can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are non-cancerous growths with the capacity to grow locally but can usually be removed completely. They are dangerous only when they originate near vital organs and thus interfere with normal functioning. Malignant tumors are cancerous and can spread locally or to distant parts of the body through the lymph system or the circulatory system. The spread of cancer to other parts of the body is called metastasis. Malignant tumors are dangerous. They crowd out normal tissue or stop the normal functioning of the tissues in which they grow.
Cancer does occur on the skin. In fact two out every five new cancers are skin cancers. The skin is more than the body's protective covering, it is also the body's largest organ. The correct terminology for the three kinds of skin cancer are: Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma.
Carcinoma is another word for cancer, but has a special meaning that explains why it is used to describe skin cancer. The term "carcinoma" refers to a malignant (cancerous) tumor which originates in the epithelium. Epithelium is a tissue that covers the surface or lines a tube or cavity of an animal. It encloses or protects the other parts of the body. The skin on the outside of human bodies and the tissue on the inside of mouths are examples of epithelial tissue.
"Aging Skin" causes is 90% from sun exposure so be sure to wear protection with Tilley Hats, sunscreen and limit your time in the Florida sun!