Types of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is one the most common cancers in the United States and according to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will get skin cancer during their lifetime. Although skin cancer is more prevalent in fair-complexioned individuals, skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of their skin color. There are three main types of skin cancers:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common forms of skin cancer, both of which have a high cure rate if discovered early. Basal cell and squamous cell generally appear on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun.(Face, scalp, hands, neck, head and other sun-exposed areas).
Melanoma or malignant melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Melanoma generally can appear on any part of the body and for people of darker complexions melanoma can present itself on areas of the body that generally are not exposed to the sun.
There are a number of different treatments for skin cancer. Depending on the location, size, and type of skin cancer, a dermatologist will determine what the best form of treatment for the patient is. Some of the treatments for skin cancer include, but are not limited to:
- Mohs Surgery
- Excision Surgery
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
- Cryotherapy (Freezing)
- Radiation or Chemotherapy
One the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer is to wear a sunscreen with SPF and to cover areas of the body that are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Any changes on your skin or growths should be checked out by a Dermatologist. Finally, it is recommended that a regular full body exam performed by a Dermatologist annually is crucial to diagnosing and treating skin cancer early.