Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the United States with numbers growing rapidly year by year. An estimated one out of every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime which makes awareness and steps towards prevention necessary in all healthcare regimens.
Avid sun exposure is the main cause of skin cancer, however, the various forms of skin cancer have been known to develop in areas of little to no sun exposure.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
BCC is the most common form of skin cancer, with more than two million cases diagnosed in the United States every year. Most often found on sun-exposed areas of the body – head, neck, face, or back of hands – it is possible for BCC to appear on any area of the body. This form of skin cancer is known to grow and spread slowly and if left untreated it can develop deep roots below the surface of the skin.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer. It usually resembles a crusted, red lesion, SCC may also present as a fast-growing dome-shaped nodule. This form of skin cancer often begins as Actinic Keratosis. SCC has a higher likelihood of spreading into the body, especially when occurring on the head, specifically the lips, and neck. As with BCC, early detection is key in preventing the spread of SCC as well as sun avoidance and the use of a broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cance.It has grown at alarming rates in the past decade. Caucasian men over the age of 50 are at the highest risk for developing melanoma and it is the most common form of cancer in young adults ages 25-29. A very non-discriminating form of cancer, Melanoma can develop on individuals of any skin color or ethnicity. Melanoma is known to progress very rapidly which is why early detection is vital.
- Mohs Surgery – used to treat BCC and SCC.