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Fact or Fiction: Skin Cancer
by Staff
Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States. In fact, experts estimate that 1 in 50 people will have melanoma by 2010. So do yourself a favor and bone up on the facts.

Basal cell and squamous cell are the most common types of skin cancer.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Basal cell is common; squamous cell is rare.

Supermelanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: No "super" needed -- it's just plain old melanoma.

A melanoma will usually grow out of an existing birthmark or mole.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Melanomas can grow in a birthmark or an existing mole, but they usually show up on unmarked skin.

Melanomas can grow everywhere on your body except the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They can grow on your palms, but not the soles of your feet.

Normal moles don't ooze, change color or bleed, but melanomas do.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Any kind of mole can ooze, change color or bleed -- it's not necessarily a sign of cancer.

The most common place for a melanoma to grow on a man is the ears.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's the upper back.

Women tend to find melanomas on their legs.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Women over 65 tend to find melanomas on their legs.

The most common treatment for melanomas is radiation.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Chemotherapy is the most common treatment.

Ultraviolet light from the sun causes skin cancer, but I won't damage my skin at all in a tanning bed.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The UV light in tanning beds is dangerous, but not as bad as the sun.

Experts believe that the sun causes most melanomas.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's about half sun exposure and half heredity.