Can Age Spots Be Cancerous

October 8, 2010

Age spots are a concern if they affect the looks of an individual, depressing his or her self confidence. Another concern about age spots is its alleged progression to cancer. But before jumping into conclusions, you have to know some basic things about age spots and skin cancer, and see how they are related to each other.

Age spots, also called sun spots are common when one ages. They usually appear on skin areas which get the most solar exposure, namely the hands and the facial area. Of course, it is not only old age that contributes to the occurrence of age spots, but the frequency of one’s sun exposure. Age spots arise from accrued damaged melanocytes.

Skin cancer however is not only brought about by sunlight. Smoking tobacco and getting exposed to harmful chemicals are some of skin cancer causes. Genetics could also play a part in this matter. The three most common categories of skin cancer are classified according to the skin cells they affect. specifically, they are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. There are other skin cancers out there, but the three are to be discussed.

The question is, can age spots progress to cancer? The answer is still uncertain, but since both age spots and skin cancer have a common factor, which is excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful rays, there could be a chance. It could happen if age spots are overlooked.

Since skin cancer can be detected easily, it can be cured early and the risk of fatality is lessened.       Skin cancer symptoms include non healing lesions and moles that grow, change in color or shape. You should watch out for those moles that have uneven borders and weird colors. Age spots obscure the discovery of melanoma so it became associated with it.

So what can you do to foil skin cancer, and avoiding age spots from obscuring melanoma? Limiting sun exposure is the first way. Stay away from sunlight especially when it is scorching hot. Having age spots removed can also lower your risks. Using sunscreens is also a way to prevent too much UV radiation absorption. Using an umbrella is another good idea. You can prevent skin cancer if you shun it.

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