Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year. Skin cancer is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Each type of skin cancer has different characteristics and requires different treatments.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears as a small, flesh-colored or pink bump on the skin. BCCs are slow-growing and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Treatment for BCC typically involves surgical removal of the tumor or radiation therapy.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears as a red, scaly patch on the skin. SCCs can spread to other parts of the body, so early detection and treatment are important. Treatment for SCC typically involves surgical removal of the tumor or radiation therapy.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It usually appears as a dark, irregularly shaped mole on the skin. Melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, so early detection and treatment are essential. Treatment for melanoma typically involves surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy.
No matter what type of skin cancer you have, it’s important to take steps to protect your skin from the sun. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wear protective clothing, and avoid tanning beds. If you notice any changes in your skin, such as a new mole or a change in an existing mole, see your doctor right away. Early detection and treatment of skin cancer can help improve your chances of a successful outcome.