Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer by a good margin. It occurs when skin cells grow abnormally and form a mass of cancer cells, and accounts for more than 40% of cancer diagnosis worldwide.
And although this statistic may sound alarming, the truth is that it also only responsible for less than 0.1% of all cancer-related deaths in the United States of America – it has an incredibly high survival rate, with more than 90% of patients surviving more than 5 years (when detected early, that rate increases to an impressive 99%).
There are dozens of skin cancer types, but the three major ones account for the vast majority of the cases: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (these are nonmelanoma skin cancers that are usually not life-threatening), and melanoma.
The main cause of skin cancer is undoubtedly the damage that UV (ultraviolet) radiation does to the DNA of skin cells. Therefore, sun exposure is the primary risk factor responsible for skin cancer.
But it is not the only one, as can be understandable from the fact that some skin cancers manifest themselves in areas of the body that are almost always protected from direct sunlight. Exposure to toxic substances and medical conditions that weakens the immune system are also directly linked with skin cancer.