Understanding Skin Cancer

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. All three types are best treated when found early, but melanoma is the most likely to spread to other parts of your body if it isn’t removed completely.

Understanding Skin Cancer:

A blog explaining skin cancer, treatments, and related topics.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It affects people of all ages, races and skin tones. There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives.

Melanoma accounts for only about 1 percent of skin cancer cases but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of cancer that begins in the melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment (melanin) that gives our skin its color.

The cells may change and become abnormal or mutate, forming lesions or tumors. A melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat once it has metastasized (spread). Melanomas can develop anywhere on the body, including areas that have not been exposed to the sun, such as the palms and soles of your feet.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there are several types of melanomas: superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, lentigo maligna and acral lentiginous melanoma.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends annual skin cancer screenings by a dermatologist, but what happens during one of these exams? During a full body skin exam, the doctor will examine your entire body for suspicious moles or other lesions that may be skin cancer. Your doctor will be looking for growths that are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, do not match other moles on your body, are larger than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser), or have changed in color over time.

In addition to performing the exam, your doctor will also ask you about your family medical history and personal risk factors. What should you tell them? Your physician will want to know if you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer previously, if any of your close family members have had skin cancer, and if you’ve ever had an unusual mole removed. If anyone in your family has had melanoma, it is important to let your doctor know as this may increase your risk of developing the disease.

Your risk factors include exposure to UV light through tanning beds and sunburns, fair skin and freckles, male gender, and being older than 50 years old. However, everyone should get their skin checked regardless of age or skin type. While melanoma is more common


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, the cells that give skin its natural pigment or color. It is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), accounts for less than 5% of all cases of skin cancer but causes more than 75% of all skin cancer deaths.

Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, including on parts of the body that are not exposed to sunlight, such as under nails and inside the mouth. Melanoma tumors can be flat or raised. They often resemble moles and may originate from existing moles or new growths on the skin. Symptoms include asymmetry (one half does not match the other half), border irregularity (edges are poorly defined), color variation (multicolored), diameter larger than 6 millimeters, and evolving appearance.

Melanomas are often detected early by patients or their doctors during routine skin checks. If caught early and before they spread, melanomas are highly curable through standard surgical excision with clear margins and sentinel lymph node biopsy as appropriate. Once melanomas have spread to other parts of the body, they are typically much more difficult to treat.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It develops in the melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment and color in the skin. Melanoma is rare compared to other types of skin cancer, but it’s much more dangerous. In fact, it causes the majority of deaths from all types of skin cancers put together.

Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body, including areas that haven’t been exposed to sunlight. However, some parts of the body are more likely to develop melanoma than others. These include:

The back for men

The legs for women

“Acral lentiginous melanoma” is a type of melanoma that most often develops under fingernails or toenails, or on the palms or soles of your feet.

Most cases of melanoma appear as new growths on the skin, although they may also develop in existing moles that change their shape or color over time.

Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). It is a form of skin cancer.

I. Overview

The word “melanoma” refers to cancer that begins in melanocytes. Melanocytes are specialized skin cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of our skin. Although they comprise only about 5% of all skin cancers, melanomas cause a large majority of skin cancer deaths.

Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin, but most often appears on sun-exposed regions like the back, upper legs and arms. In rare cases, melanomas may appear in other areas such as mucous membranes or even organs such as the brain or intestines. Melanomas can range from small and flat to large and bulky; they may be black, brown or tan; and they may have an irregular shape and border and a mixture of colors within them.

Dermatologists check moles during a skin exam to look for signs of melanoma, especially changes in size, shape or color; itchiness or tenderness; bleeding; and scaliness or crusting. A mole may be removed if it has one or more of these features. Der

If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent skin cancer, a good starting point is to use sunscreen. Sunscreen can protect against damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause sunburn, aging skin and increase your risk for skin cancer. But did you know that not all sunscreen provides equal protection?

It may sound counterintuitive, but many sunscreens are actually damaging to our health and the environment. This is because many sunscreen products contain active ingredients that are absorbed into our bloodstream, as well as chemicals that negatively impact coral reefs and other marine life.

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