Skin Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five people will develop a skin cancer. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected early with regular skin cancer screenings. Most skin cancers appear to be related to sun exposure.
The most common skin cancers are:
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It tends to be slow growing and is characterized as a pink, translucent, pearly “pimple” or scaly patch that does not go away.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer, though faster growing.
Squamous cell carcinomas are characterized with red scaly tender hard bumps or red scaly patches with thicker scale. A squamous cell can arise from an actinic keratosis. This type of skin cancer does have the potential to spread especially if located on the ear, forehead, lip and top of hands.
Malignant Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States, and can be fatal if left untreated and not detected early. Malignant melanoma can spread to the lymph nodes, lung, and liver, and all other skin areas if not detected and surgically removed in time. Malignant melanoma can be characterized by a change in an existing mole or a new mole with irregular pigmentation, variation in color or depigmented, change in shape or oddly shaped, increase in size or irregular borders. It is recommended to be aware of what you have on your skin presently to be able to detect a possible change in any new or existing mole; early detection is key. If you notice any of these changes make an appointment as soon as possible for an evaluation.