Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, with melanoma being the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the cells of our body that produce the color of the skin or pigment, know as melanin. Although, melanoma is the most dangerous of the various skin cancers, it is almost always curable if detected in its early stages.

The most common type of skin cancer is basal-cell carcinoma (BCC), also known as basal-cell cancer. It often appears as a painless raised area of skin. Basal-cell cancer grows slowly and can damage the tissue around it but is unlikely to spread to distant areas or result in death.

Squamous-cell skin cancer is also known as cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma (cSCC). Squamous-cell is one of the main types of skin cancer along with basal cell cancer, and melanoma. It usually appears as a hard lump with a scaly top but can also form an ulcer or sore. Development is often over months. Squamous-cell skin cancer is more likely to spread to distant areas than basal cell cancer.

Skin Cancer Risks

Factors that may increase the risk of developing non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers include:

  • Pale complexion
  • Personal of family history of skin cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Unusual moles
  • Weakened immune system
  • History of severe sunburns

Skin Cancer Symptoms

The various types of skin cancer all have distinct signs and symptoms. For example, signs of melanoma may include a large brownish spot with dark speckles within it or a mole that changes in color, or size or that bleeds. Other skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma may development and appear as a hard, red bump or a flat lesion with a scaly surface. If you notice any changes to your skin that worry you, make an appointment with you doctor and he or she can perform a quick test on the formation called a biopsy.

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