Dr. Kenneth Warrick is a dermatologist in Longs, South Carolina. He received his medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 40 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including Spanish and German.
Skin cancers are cancers that originate in the skin. They are the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.
Exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds cause the vast majority of skin cancers. Ultraviolet light damages the DNA (building blocks) of skin cells causing genetic defects. These defects cause the cells to multiple rapidly and in a bizarre fashion, leading to the formation of a malignant tumor.
All of us are at risk for skin cancer. People with light skin are at a higher risk as are people with poor immune function or people on anti-rejection drugs following an organ transplant. People of color are not totally exempt. Asians, Filipinos, Hispanics and African Americans can develop skin cancers from chronic exposure to ultraviolet light. Nobody gets a free ride.