Skin cancers are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. They are also the most curable form of cancer when detected early. Skin cancers vary in appearance, size, and shape making them difficult to identify to the untrained eye.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How many different types of skin cancer is there?
There are three major types of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. The first two skin cancers are grouped together as non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC). The vast majority of skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. While malignant, these are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body if treated early. A small but significant number of skin cancers are malignant melanomas which can be highly aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
How do I prevent skin cancer?
The best way to avoid untreated skin cancer is to wear sunscreen and avoid indoor tanning beds. Also, it is important to periodically evaluate your skin and any moles you may have for changes to their size, shape, color and symmetry. If you find something growing on your skin do not wait, see your dermatologist immediately.
How do I know if I have skin cancer?
Skin cancers vary in appearance. You can monitor your skin and moles for changes that warrant a visit to your dermatologist. Examples include lesions or moles that are changing in size, shape and color or those that are bleeding. Your dermatologist may remove suspicious moles or perform a biopsy to determine whether a malignancy is present.
You can download the American Academy of Dermatology’s body mole map for information on how to check your skin for the signs of skin cancer. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/find/at-risk/mole-map
You can learn also more from the Skin Cancer Foundation. www.skincancer.org