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Why do we get skin cancer?

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Sometimes skin cancer is caused by severe trauma, and even tattoos can be the source of skin cancer. But in most cases, it is the sun, a huge source of radiation in the sky, that causes skin cancer.

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Some rays of sunlight are invisible to the naked eye, and ultraviolet rays are one of them. UV rays are so energetic that they penetrate the skin and kill cells in the dermis.

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In the past, people got sunburned mainly because they worked shirtless in the open air. But since the 1830s, there has been another cause of sunburn: deliberate tanning.

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Now, tanning has become fashionable among the crowd, people think that pale skin means unhealthy, and dark skin is always associated with outdoor sports, fresh air, and leisure time spent lying on the beach in the sun.

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Tanning is how the skin protects itself. When UV rays hit the skin, dead cells on the surface of the skin first absorb some of the UV rays. Then, living cells start producing a lot of melanin to absorb the remaining UV rays, which is why sunbathing darkens the complexion.

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However, even the darkest skin only blocks half of the UV rays. The longer you stay in the sun, the more UV rays get into your skin and the more cells are damaged. You can get sun burns and even develop skin cancer as a result.

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The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Basal cells are the cells at the bottom of the skin. In the United States, about 400,000 people develop basal cell carcinoma each year. Once, basal cell carcinoma was more common in the elderly. But in recent years, the disease has attracted increasing attention from doctors because the rate of developing basal cell carcinoma in the young population has increased rapidly, and even some people develop basal cell carcinoma in adolescents. Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma can be cured by removing the cancerous area.

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The most serious type of skin cancer is called melanoma, a cancer of melanocytes. Without treatment, melanoma can quickly spread from the skin to organs (such as the lungs) and the brain, and can even lead to death.

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The United States is in the middle of the rankings for skin cancer rates. However, as a punishment for the obsession with dark skin, the price is not small. Because the ozone layer is thinner, more ultraviolet rays can pass through the atmosphere to the ground, making sunlight even more harmful.

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Fortunately, we can completely prevent skin cancer from happening.

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Prevent prolonged skin exposure. Medical scientists have found that UV exposure can induce skin cancer. Farmers, fishermen, and field workers who work in the sun for a long time are much more likely to develop skin cancer than indoor workers, so they can wear sunscreen and other items when working or playing outdoors.

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Sunscreen cosmetics generally achieve the purpose of sun protection by absorbing or reflecting ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen products are generally marked with a sun protection factor (SPF). The higher the coefficient, the better the effect. Usually use SPF15 sunscreen products.

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Even on cloudy days, 70% of UV rays are still projected onto the ground. UV rays penetrate the surface of the skin and destroy deep skin cells, causing the growth of cancer cells. So when walking outdoors during the day, you should wear hats, long-sleeved clothes, etc.

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