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Skin cancer 'cure' found

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London,  (ANI): A group of researchers has claimed to have found a cure for skin cancer.

A vaccine, which attacks tumour cells, leaving healthy cells undamaged and carries agents that boost the body's response to skin cancer, is being tested in the UK. And up till now, it has apparently helped some patients fully recover from melanoma, even in its advanced stages, reports The Telegraph.

Dr Howard Kaufman, of Chicago's Rush University Medical Centre, said: "Our study shows we may have a cure for some advanced melanoma patients and a drug which has real benefits for others.

"This will save thousands of lives a year." (ANI)


What is Skin Cancer?

Cancer develops when DNA, the molecule found in cells that encodes genetic information, becomes damaged and the body cannot repair the damage. These damaged cells begin to grow and divide uncontrollably. When this occurs in the skin, skin cancer develops. As the damaged cells multiply, they form a tumor. Since skin cancer generally develops in the epidermis, the outermost layers of skin, a tumor is usually clearly visible. This makes most skin cancers detectable in the early stages

Causes
Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, ďMany of the more than 1 million skin cancers diagnosed each year could be prevented with protection from the sunís rays.Ē Scientists now know that exposure to the sunís ultraviolet (UV) rays damages DNA in the skin. The body can usually repair this damage before gene mutations occur and cancer develops. When a personís body cannot repair the damaged DNA, which can occur with cumulative sun exposure, cancer develops.

In some cases, skin cancer is an inherited condition. Between 5% and 10% of melanomas develop in people with a family history of melanoma.

Who Gets Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer develops in people of all colors, from the palest to the darkest. However, skin cancer is most likely to occur in those who have fair skin, light-colored eyes, blonde or red hair, a tendency to burn or freckle when exposed to the sun, and a history of sun exposure. Anyone with a family history of skin cancer also has an increased risk of developing skin cancer. In dark-skinned individuals, melanoma most often develops on non-sun-exposed areas, such as the foot, underneath nails, and on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nasal passages, or genitals. Those with fair skin also can have melanoma develop in these areasPrevention and Early Detection Key
Sun protection can significantly decrease a personís risk of developing skin cancer. Sun protection practices include staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the rays are strongest, applying a broad-spectrum (offers UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher year-round to all exposed skin, and wearing a protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outdoors.

Since skin cancer is so prevalent today, dermatologists also recommend that everyone learn how to recognize the signs of skin cancer, use this knowledge to perform regular examinations of their skin, and see a dermatologist annually (more frequently if at high risk) for an exam. Skin cancer is highly curable with early detection and proper treatment.

Courtesy: the American Academy of Dermatology

 
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