Skin Cancers and the pre cancerous lesions actinic keratosis (AK) is a common lesion induced by ultraviolet light that represents the earliest manifestation of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin.
AK often occurs during and after the midlife stage and is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to UV radiation. AKs appear on sun exposed areas such as face, ears, bald scalp, neck, back of hands, forearms and lips. AKs are well recognized as potential precursors of squamous cell carcinomas.
Skin cancer is a growing concern and widespread condition in the United States and elsewhere. In the US there are over 1 million people diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and 50,000 people diagnosed with melanoma every year. With early detection and treatment the vast majority of skin cancers are curable with surgery alone. It is believed that practicing sun avoidance and sun protection over one's lifetime can prevent many skin cancers.