All people, regardless of their skin type, are at risk for developing skin cancer. Those with a history of skin cancer are at a higher risk for developing more tumors. The following warning signs could be an indication that a growth may be cancerous:
Use the mnemonic PROTECT to remember these important strategies for sun protection and early detection and prevention of skin cancer:
Risk factors for developing skin cancer include:
Ultraviolet (UV) light on the skin from sunlight or tanning beds can damage the DNA in the upper layers of our skin. Normally, the body has the ability to repair this damage and restore cells to their normal function. However, repeated exposure to UV light can increase the damage, which may overcome your body's ability to repair it.
Uncontrolled, disorganized growth of damaged cells is cancer. As the cancer grows, it replaces normal cells of the skin and may disrupt their function. Fortunately, skin cancer begins on the surface where it is visible to the naked eye. Skin cancer can be easily treated and cured if detected early. If allowed to spread, skin cancer can be fatal.
The skin is our body's largest organ, and skin cancer is the world's most common type of cancer. More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Early detection and treatment is key to recovery.
There are two main categories of skin cancer:
All types of skin cancers differ in appearance, tissue structure, and level of aggressiveness. At UCLA, we treat a wide range of skin cancer types. Learn more about dermatologic surgery at UCLA and our comprehensive surgical options for skin cancer.
As we age, ultraviolet light has many negative effects on the skin. Chronic sun damage, movement of facial muscles and a loss of collagen and elastic tissue leads to:
Skin aging results from the interaction between intrinsic and extrinsic factors over time. Intrinsic, or internal factors, are under genetic and hormonal influence. Factors affecting extrinsic aging include:
UCLA’s Cosmetic Dermatology program offers the newest, most advanced treatment options to help restore a healthier, youthful appearance. Our nationally known, skilled dermatologists specialize in a variety of procedures and services to improve and enhance your skin. We use minimally invasive techniques to help you achieve your goals for the cosmetic management of your skin.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.