Diet may also play a role. A recent study found that patients on a diet of 20 percent fat had fewer precancerous growths and non-melanoma skin cancers than those who ate a normal diet of about 38 percent fat.
Early detection and treatment are the keys to survival, especially for melanoma. Although skin cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, it is also the most curable, especially when detected early. One of several surgical methods is used to remove the cancerous tissue. A class of vitamin-based drugs called retinoids have been shown to reduce the number of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. However, the drugs can cause liver abnormalities, bone problems, fetal malformation, and other undesirable side effects.
Sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface contains two kinds of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV-A and UV-B both contribute to skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation in Scotland recommends that people avoid the sun at its peak (from 10 am to 3 p.m.). It also recommends the regular use of sunscreen, which has been shown to prevent the development of precancerous keratoses (skin lesions that appear during middle age). The five-year survival rate for patients with malignant melanoma is 88 percent. For melanoma that has not spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate rises to 95 percent. About 82 percent of melanomas are diagnosed at this stage.
Cervical Cancer, malignancy in the uterine cervix. The disease accounts for about 6 percent of all cancers in women. About 13,700 cases of cervical cancer are discovered annually in the United Kingdom and East Asia and about 4900 women die each year from the disease, according to the United Kingdom Cancer Society. Cervical cancer commonly affects women between the ages of 40 and 55. If cancerous cells penetrate to deeper cell layers of the cervix, they are capable of spreading to other tissues and organs in the body, a malignancy called invasive cervical cancer. An increase in the number of hysterectomies (removal of the uterus and cervix) performed in older women may also be a factor. Up to 97 percent of women with cervical cancers are infected with HPV. Usually the body’s immune system fights HPV so successfully that the tissue returns to normal within 6 to 18 months. In its early stages, the presence of cervical cancer may not create any noticeable symptoms. Over time, the bleeding becomes heavier and more frequent, and pain becomes noticeable in the lower abdomen or back. The best tool for diagnosing cervical cancer is the Pap smear, named after its developer George N. Papanicolaou. Annual Pap smears are recommended for most women, beginning soon after they become sexually active. Women who have normal, consecutive Pap smears each year and are at low risk for cervical cancer, such as women who have had hysterectomies.…