Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Statistically, one out of five Americans will develop a skin cancer. The good news is that it is highly treatable with early detection.
Skin cancer often starts as changes to your skin, and while some forms of skin cancer do not start as cancer, can become cancerous over time. Checking your skin for suspicious changes and getting routine full body exams by a dermatologist can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Risk factors for developing skin cancer include: a family history of skin cancer, multiple moles, a new or changing growth, fair skin that burns easily, a history of multiple sunburns, or history of exposure to the sun or tanning beds.
Common types of skin cancer:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is the most common type of skin cancer. It looks like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is the second most common type of skin cancer. It often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin. This skin cancer, if caught in its earliest stage has a 98% five-year survival rate. It is crucial to have your suspicious spots looked at as soon as possible and why we advocate for regular full body skin exams.
Note: Actinic Keratoses is a rough, scaly patch of skin that typically develops from years of sun exposure. It can be categorized as a pre-cancerous growth because it can develop into a squamous cell carcinoma. We recommend regular skin exams by a trained dermatologist to evaluate any new, persistent or growing spots.