Carolinas HealthCare System

ABCD Rule - a way to tell the difference between a regular mole and one that may be skin cancer - Asymmetry, Border, Color and Diameter

Basal Cell Carcinoma - skin cancer that forms in the base of the outer layer of skin

Benign Tumor - non-cancer growth

Biopsy - the procedure in which a piece of skin or tumor tissue is removed from the patient and sent to a laboratory to determine if cancer cells are present

Cancer - abnormal/changed cells in the body that form a tumor or growth

Carcinogen - any substance that is directly involved in the causing cancer development or in the increase of its growth

Contagious - able to be spread from person to person or living object to nonliving object to living object (such as person to doorknob to person). Cancer itself is NOT contagious

Dermis - thick sensitive layer of skin or connective tissue immediately beneath the skin's epidermis (the outermost layer) that contains blood, lymph vessels, sweat glands and nerve endings

Diagnosis - the identification of something; the finding of cancer cells

Elastin - another component of the dermis layer of the skin that maintains the stretchiness of the skin. When the elastin around hair pores breaks down from aging and sun exposure, hair pores collapse upon themselves and fill up with debris, resulting in cysts, whiteheads and/or blackheads

Epidermis - the outermost layer of the skin. The epidermis contains no nerves or blood vessels, so the epidermis alone is incapable of sensation or bleeding. The epidermis contains keratinocytes (cells that make keratin) and melanocytes (cells that make pigment), as well as other specialized cells

Malignant Tumor - a cancer growth

Melanin - dark brown or black pigment that is naturally present to varying degrees in the skin, hair, eyes, fur or feathers of people and animals, as well as in plants

Melanocyte - cells in the epidermis layer of the skin that makes pigment. The melanocyte usually provides tanning and sun protection as well as ultraviolet-radiation protection to the remainder of the skin

Melanoma - skin cancer that forms in the pigment; the deadliest form of skin cancer

Metastasis - the spread of a cancer/tumor to another part of the body

Mole - a small, dark, sometimes raised, growth on human skin

Pigment - the melanin in the upper layers of the skin that determines the color of a person's skin

Prevention - a way to avoid an injury sickness or disease

Prognosis - the predicted outcome of a disease or condition following either treatment or no treatment

Risk Factor - anything that increases a person's chance of getting a disease such as cancer

Skin - the largest organ in the body

Skin Cancer - a cancer of the skin whether a melanoma or nonmelanoma

Skin Exam - a once-per-month early detection method for changes in the skin including possible skin cancers

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - skin cancer in the flat cells that form the surface of the skin

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) - the sunscreen rating that refers to the product's ability to screen or block out the sun's burning rays

Sunscreen - a lotion or spray that can help limit skin damage from the sun

Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation - radiation that comes from sunlight or artificial tanning lights that is harmful to the skin

UV-A - ultraviolet rays from the sun which can cause long-term damage to the skin

UV-B - ultraviolet rays from the sun which affect the skin's pigment and can cause sunburn

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