Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer.
Skin cancer is a common and potentially dangerous cancer affecting millions of people each year. It occurs when skin cells develop mutations and grow out of control, forming a tumor. While skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, it is commonly found in areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, arms, and legs.
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer and are usually highly curable when detected and treated early. Melanoma is a more aggressive form of skin cancer that can spread to other body parts if not treated promptly.
The most common symptoms of skin cancer include changes in the size, shape, color, or texture of a mole or other skin lesion. A new or growing lesion that is asymmetrical has an irregular border, is multicolored, or is larger than a quarter of an inch should be evaluated by a doctor.
Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer, including:
- A family history of skin cancer
- Fair skin that sunburns easily
- A history of severe sunburns or prolonged exposure to the sun
- A weak immune system
- A history of exposure to harmful chemicals or radiation
To reduce your risk of skin cancer, it is important to practice sun safety, including wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen when spending time outdoors. Having yearly skin exams with a board-certified dermatologist is also essential to check for changes or unusual growths.
If you are concerned about a mole or skin lesion, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment can significantly increase the chances of a full recovery.