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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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If you have light skin that sunburns easily, you are more likely to get skin cancer.

Your risk is higher if you are male or if you are over 40. Your risk is higher if others in your family have had it or if you have had it before.

You may also be more likely to get it if you have been exposed often to strong X-rays, to certain chemicals (such as arsenic, coal tar, and creosote), or to radioactive substances (such as radium).

Your doctor will want to remove all of the cancer. There are several ways to do this. The most common way is to numb your skin so that it does not hurt, then cut out the cancer. You will be awake while this is done.

This surgery almost always cures nonmelanoma skin cancer. Other treatments include radiation, medicines that are put on the skin (topical therapies), and photodynamic therapy (PDT).

After your treatment, you will need regular checkups, because having skin cancer once means you are more likely to get it again.

You can prevent it by being careful in the sun. Stay out of the sun at midday, when the sun's rays are strongest. Wear sunscreen or other sun protection. Do not use tanning booths or sunlamps.

Learning about skin cancer:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Living with skin cancer:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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