What Is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.
The Most Common Skin Cancers
Basal Cell Carcinoma
80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
5% of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a rare but very dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease. Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Skin Cancer?
Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. It is important to always use sunscreen when being exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, regardless of skin tone.
Symptoms Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is most identifiable as a new or changed growth on the skin. You may notice this in different areas of the body and it is important to check yourself often. Although skin-cancer growths most commonly form on the scalp, face, lips, neck, chest, arms, hands or legs, they can occur anywhere. Important signs to look for are:
A mole that changes shape or color can also indicate skin cancer.
The Abcde’s Of Skin Cancer
Check yourself for Skin Cancer by going through the ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer:
Treatment Of Skin Cancer
The number of treatments varies from person to person depending upon the type, size and location of the cancerous lesion. The good news is that most growths can be removed. Depending on the severity of the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation may be necessary. It is important to have any suspicions lesions checked by Dr. Rex as soon as a change is noticed.