|The most common form of cancer in the United States, skin cancer will affect roughly half of the Americans who live beyond 65 years of age. It can occur on any part of the skin that's normally exposed to sunlight - your face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, legs, hands, and even the scalp are vulnerable. It's less commonly found in places like under the nails, palms, toes, and the genital area.
There are three primary types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
- Malignant melanoma
Each of the three types is distinct. BCC and SCC are caused by direct DNA damage, and have a very low mortality rate of 0.3%. Malignant melanoma is much more dangerous than carcinomas, with up to a 15-20% mortality rate. Despite their differences, all three types of skin cancer have been linked with sun exposure. People with dark skin are just as vulnerable to skin cancer as those with pale skin, and tanning beds are no safer than real sunlight.
Early detection is a key factor in the successful treatment of skin cancer, so it's important to have any skin changes or new marks examined by a doctor or dermatologist as soon as you notice them.
If you are concerned about skin symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment or learn more about skin cancer facts.