I stumbled across this review article (first full reference below) earlier this week.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Most skin cancers form in older people on parts of the body exposed to the sun or in people who have weakened immune systems (such as inflammatory bowel disease patients on immunosuppressive therapy).
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in there were more than one million new cases of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) in the United States in 2010. There were less than 1,000 NMSC deaths during the same time.
NMSC includes squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Both occur more frequently on sunlight-exposed areas such as the head and neck. BCC is far more common than SCC and accounts for approximately 75% of all NMSC. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*
Not all skin cancers are from sun exposure. Viruses such as human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts, also cause skin cancer. Skin cancer from HPV develops on genital skin in both men and women. It’s rarely talked about, but it’s important and can be deadly.
Did you know that half of all deaths from skin cancer other than melanoma are from genital skin cancer? You probably also didn’t know that women are more likely to die from genital skin cancer as they are from skin cancer that developed from sun exposure (again, excluding melanoma).
We dermatologists are inexhaustible when it comes to warning people about the dangers of sun exposure, but we should also be warning people about the dangers of genital warts. HPV protection, which includes HPV vaccines, is as important as sun protection in preventing death from non-melanoma skin cancer.
Genital warts can lead to deadly skin cancer. If your dermatologist has not checked your genital skin, be sure your primary care physician or gynecologist does. This is especially important, because unlike other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) which often have symptoms, HPV or genital warts often don’t. It may be embarrassing, but it could save your life.
*This blog post was originally published at The Dermatology Blog*