Skin Cancer : The Most Common Form Of Cancer

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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Skin cancer encompasses three types of cancers: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma—the most dangerous of the three. The underlying cause of all types of skin cancers is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light consists of three various types of UV rays including ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). Of the three types, UVA is most damaging to skin as it can damage connective tissue hence increasing the risk of skin cancer. UVB is responsible for helping to produce Vitamin D; however, it can still be damaging to the skin. While UVC is dangerous, the ozone absorbs it before it has a chance to reach the ground (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2010), ultraviolet (UV) rays are remarkably damaging to the skin without the proper protection. The National Weather Service and the EPA have developed the UV Index, a tool that predicts the level of UV radiation and indicates the risk, numerically. It is scale in which 0-2 indicates low risk of danger from sun rays, 3-5 indicates moderate risk, 6-7 indicates high risk, 8-10 indicates very high risk, and 11+ indicates extreme risk of harm. There are a considerable number of factors that influence an ultraviolet level, including stratospheric ozone layer, time of day, time of year, latitude, altitude, weather
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