Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It’s estimated that 1-in-5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.
With people living longer, with more exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun, the probability for skin cancer increases. Most skin cancers develop on sun-exposed areas (face, head, hands, arms, & legs), yet it’s not uncommon for cancers to form on areas of your body without sun exposure (as an example, areas covered by your clothing). And when it comes to sun exposure, skin types and family history also play key factors.
Most commonly, a skin cancer diagnosis is derived from a skin biopsy – a small sample removed and examined under the microscope. Skin cancer detected early (before it has spread) has an excellent prognosis. So it’s important to have regular skin exams by a licensed professional.
Although there are many types of skin cancer, the three most common types are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Studies have shown that regular skin exams by a board certified dermatologist can detect skin cancer at an earlier stage, which is vital for your continued well-being.
Regular skin exams are recommended for patients at risk for skin cancer, including:
- History of skin cancer
- History of pre-cancers
- Family history of melanoma and other skin cancers
- Tanning bed use
- High number of moles
- History of abnormal moles
Skin cancer warning signs include:
- Changes in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion
- New growth on the skin, or a sore that does not heal
Contact your dermatologist if you notice anything changing, itching or bleeding.
For more information on skin cancer: