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Skin Cancer

In the United States, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, roughly one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime – 40-50% of Americans will be diagnosed with basal or squamous cell carcinoma by the age of 65. Every day, 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer.

Common Skin Cancers

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer and usually develops after years of sun exposure and/or indoor tanning. The lesions are flesh colored or pinkish and may resemble a bead-like bump. These lesions are most common on the head, neck, and arms but can form anywhere on the body. While BCC is more common in fair skinned individuals, people of color can get it too.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. More common in light skinned people, SCC can also develop in those with darker skin. SCC can have a variety of appearances – a red bump, a scaly patch, or a sore that keeps healing and reopening.
  • Melanoma is often referred to as the most serious form of skin cancer because it can spread so rapidly. It can develop within an existing mole or suddenly appear as a brand-new lesion. Early diagnosis is critical because of this cancer’s rapid spread. Knowing the ABCDEs of Melanoma can tell you spot a potentially dangerous growth:
    • A for Asymmetry: The two halves of the mole may be different in color, size, and shape.
    • B for Border: The growth’s borders are scalloped, irregular, or poorly defined.
    • C for Color: The mole contains several different colors (tan, brown, black, red, white, red, or blue).
    • D for Diameter or very Dark: Melanomas are about the size of a pencil eraser or larger. However, they can be smaller at the time of diagnosis so don’t ignore new growths.
    • E for Evolving: The spot is growing and changing.

The good news is, when detected and treated early, most melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers have promising survival and cure rates. In addition to performing regular self-exams, be sure to see a dermatologist annually for a professional skin exam and to discuss your individual level of risk for cancer.

If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, our dermatologists will develop a custom treatment plan for you, including Mohs Surgery where appropriate, to help you achieve the best outcome and prevent future instances of cancer.