Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer (including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) are diagnosed in the United States each year. The appearance of skin cancer can vary from person to person, and even on the same person. Because of this, the best way to check for skin cancer is to see a board-certified dermatologist. If caught early and appropriately treated, the great majority of skin cancers are curable.
Types of skin cancer:
AK’s typically occur on body parts that are most often exposed to the sun. They usually appear as small crusty, scaly, or crumbly bumps or horns. Early on, they may come and go. Sometimes they are more easily detected by feel than by sight.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
One of the most common skin cancers, caused by long-term sun exposure. Frequently, two or more features are present in one tumor. In addition, basal cell carcinoma sometimes resembles non-cancerous skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma. They usually appear as thick, rough, scaly patches that may bleed easily. They often look like warts and sometimes appear as open sores. The skin around the site may exhibit signs of wrinkling, pigment changes, and loss of elasticity.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, if it is detected early and removed while it is still thin and limited to the outermost skin layer, it is almost 100% curable. Once the cancer advances and spreads to other parts of the body, it is hard to treat and can be deadly.