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Elizabeth Taylor was the great dame of Hollywood. She stared in countless movies, starting at the young age of 9 in the movie There's One Born Every Minute. She became a huge star with National Velvet three years later, going on to make over 50 movies, winning two Oscars over her long career. Elizabeth Taylor was born of February 27th, 1932 in London, England, moving to California when she was seven. She was married to eight men and had four children, including a fifth child that was lovechild she gave up. Elizabeth started the Elizabeth Taylor Foundation for AIDs and was a close friend of Michael Jackson. Her life was full of medical problems, being hospitalized 70 times for various issues, including breaking her back five times, having both hips replaced, dysentery, pneumonia, a brain tumor, and skin cancer in 2002. She was an alcoholic, smoker, and addicted to pain killers and sleeping pills for 35 years. On March 23, 2011, Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure, leaving behind a long legacy of excellence. (http://www.answers.com/topic/elizabeth-taylor)

Basal Cell Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment
Elizabeth Taylor fought the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. She had the tumor on her cheek and was lucky it did not leave her disfigured. Basal cell carcinoma appears in the basal cells of the epidermis as a shiny bump, reddish patch, a pink growth, a waxy patch of skin, or open sore that won't heal. The cancer is not nearly as aggressive as melanoma and can easily be removed if caught early. It's caused mainly by exposure to the sun but factors such as complications with burns, vaccines, and even tattoos. A biopsy is done and if it proves to be cancerous, then there are multiple ways to treat the cancer. The most successful if Mohs Micrographic Surgery, which involves removing layers of tissue from the tumor and examining it under a microscope until there is no more cancerous tissue. Another method is excisional surgery which removes the tumor all together or cyrosurgery, which freezes the tumor with liquid nitrogen and the malignant tumor eventually scabs and peels off. Laser surgery is also a common choice and experimental topical treatments have been shown to be successful. (http://www.skincancer.org/basal-cell-carcinoma.html)

Basal Cell carcinoma is the most coommon skin cancer, affecting over one million people a year in the United States alone. It accounts for 80% of skin cancer cases, being observed mostly in light-skinned people with type 1 or type 2 skin. Type one are very fair and have red or blonde hair with freackles: they always burn and never tan hwile type 2 are fair but burn easily while tanning. Dark-skinned people are rarely affected. Whites of Celtic ancestry have the highest risk while the incidence is low among blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. Historically, men are affected twice as often as women, although that number is changing as lifestyles are becoming increasingly outdoor types. In states near the equator, such as Hawaii, Basal Cell carcinoma (BCC) incidence is approaching 3-fold that of states in the Midwest, such as Minnesota. BCC incidence also varies globally. The highest rates of skin cancer occur in South Africa and Australia, areas that receive high amounts of UV radiation. Australia has a trend toward increasing BCC incidence, while Finland has a low reported incidence that is approximately one quarter that in Minnesota; BCC incidence in Finland also appears to be increasing, however, especially among young women. Age increases the risk, with 5-15% of cases being reported among 20-40 year olds. The risk increases one-hundred fold in the age group 55-70. (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/276624-overview#a0156)

Basal cell carcinoma is less aggressive than melonoma and rarely metastisizes if found early. Patients have a 90% success rate with the treatment options as there are many. Scientists are curently studying inheirted genes that can cause a increased risk in skin cancer. They also are looking to find a method of chemotherapy that can be applied to just attack the area around the tumor as opposed to the whole body. Basal cell can leave patients disfigured but is uncommon to occurs. (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/skin/page5r.)

Elizabeth Taylor spent a lot of time at the beach which is a leading cause of skin cancer. The sun's UV rays damage the cells of the skin and mutate them to form the cancer as a result. This takes many years to accumulate and Elizabeth spent a lot of time in the hot California sunshine. Elizabeth Taylor was diagnosed with Basal Cell carcinoma in 2002 and underwent radiation. She was lucky to not have any residual damage from the cancer and helped bring national awareness to this common disease.

Elizabeth Taylor was a good friend to Michael Jackson and supported him all throughout his various troubles with accusations of molestation. She started the Elizabeth Taylor AIDs Foundation in 1985 to help fight AIDs, something she was very passionate about after her friend Rock Hudson died of the diease in the same year. She helped raise millions of dollars in countless grants for research. (http://www.elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org/) Foundations have been founded like The Skin Cancer Foundation to help the fight against the most common form of cancer and help raise money to fund more research. Elizabeth Taylor left a legacy as a great dame, actress, and business woman who never gave up, no matter what she went through. (http://www.skincancer.org/Basal-Cell-Carcinoma/)

"I'm a survivor - a living example of what people can go through and survive"

By Taylor Pierce and Philip Tschepik