Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.
There are 3 main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
- Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type and occurs in the basal layer of the top layer of the skin, hence its name. It is caused by sun exposure and is most often removed with surgery. Fortunately, it is rarely life-threatening.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by any skin cell (also called squamous cells or keratinocytes). Again, caused by usually a lifetime of sun exposure. This can spread about 5% of the time to internal organs or lymph nodes so it is important to identify and treat as soon as possible.
- Melanoma is the most serious, as it has a much higher chance of spreading. Mole cancer starts from the pigmentation cells in the skin. It can be hereditary or from the sun or both. It can be cured if caught early. A precursor to melanoma is called a dysplastic nevus. We try as best as we can to spot these and remove them to reduce the chance that one of them will go on to develop into a melanoma.