It is the most common cancer in humans. In fact, the incidence of skin cancer exceeds the incidence of all other cancers combined. This incidence has been rising sharply over the past 50 years and continues to do so. Although anyone may develop a skin cancer, fair-skinned sun-sensitive people are at a higher risk. There are three kinds of common skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
The most common type of cancer in humans. These growths are caused by the ultraviolet rays from the sun and tend to occur in the chronically sun-exposed areas such as the head and neck. These cancers begin as a small papule (bump) that slowly enlarges. The surface of these papules is usually smooth, resembling the surface of a pearl. Often, there is a small ulceration in the center of these growths. This type almost never spreads to the internal organs. However, it will slowly grow larger without limit in the area in which it arises. Since these lesions tend to occur on the face, they can threaten vital structures such as an ear or an eye. Basal cell carcinoma can be effectively treated and cured.
The second most common skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun, and thus is most often seen in the chronically sun-exposed areas such as the face and the back of the hands. Less often, these lesions can arise in chronically inflamed areas, such as a non-healing leg ulcer, and in scars. Squamous cell carcinoma begins as a small lump, often with a bleeding ulcerated surface. Although it is uncommon, squamous cell carcinoma can metastasize, and thus is a serious health risk. When limited to the skin, squamous cell carcinoma can be effectively treated and cured.
The least common of the three skin cancers, but the most deadly. This cancer begins on the surface of the skin, where it is visible and curable. When ignored and allowed to grow deep into the skin, it then may spread to the lymph nodes and internal organs. Melanomas are typically irregularly-shaped, pigmented growths on the skin. They may occur anywhere on the skin. When detected early, when they are still limited to the superficial portion of the skin, they may be treated with close to a 100 percent cure rate. Therefore, early detection remains the most effective melanoma treatment. For more information please contact us to schedule an appointment.