The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. The most common cause of skin cancer is over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds and natural sunlight. The majority of skin cancer can be prevented by careful sun protection from an early age.
Who is Most at Risk for Skin Cancer
Although anyone is at risk of skin cancer, there are individuals who are more likely to develop the condition. Here are a few risk factors to be cautious of:
- Fair Skin
- History of Sunburns
- Individuals with Moles
- Family History
- Exposure to Radiation
- Exposure to High Altitudes
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer
In general, if you have a skin lesion that is new and doesn’t heal after 4 weeks, it might be time to have an exam. Symptoms can include bleeding and itching, but oftentimes skin cancers are asymptomatic.
Skin cancer can develop in different skin cells, meaning some of the signs and symptoms can vary. If skin cancer has developed in the basal skin cells, a pink bump or a flat scar-like lesion can form. Skin cancers of the squamous cells typically form more red, scaly, or crusty bumps. Melanomas are uncontrolled growths of melanocytes (pigment cells). If a mole changes color, size, shape, or texture, be sure to consult us right away.
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
Treatment options vary by the skin cancer’s type, location, and severity. Mohs surgery has become the treatment of choice for BCCs and SCCs with a high risk for recurrence, or those in cosmetically sensitive locations. The cure rate for Mohs surgery is very high (up to 99%) compared with other treatments for skin cancer.