Skin Cancer

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer is by far the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, often caused by overexposure to the sun. There are three main skin cancer diagnoses, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma is usually found as a red, pearly bump, occasionally ulcerated, on the shoulders, head or neck. While BCC can occur elsewhere on the body, frequent exposure to sun makes these the most common. The tumor may occasionally crust or bleed, and can be mistaken for a sore that refuses to heal. While unpleasant, BCC is the most frequently occurring skin cancer, and if caught early can be completely removed, often without any scarring.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma is usually expressed as a scaly, crusty, reddened patch of skin, again caused by overexposure to sun and most common on body parts that are frequently exposed. Skin may thicken, ulcerate, bleed, or develop into hard nodules. SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer, and while it can be dangerous, it is still treatable.
  • Malignant Melanoma are both the least common and most dangerous form of skin cancer, presenting as a black or brown asymmetrical lesion on the skin, though some aggressive melanoma can appear pink or red. Warning signs for melanoma are change in size, shape, or elevation of an existing mole; a mole larger than a pencil eraser in diameter ought to be examined.

Skin cancers can range from merely unpleasant to outright dangerous, even though it is the least commonly fatal of cancers. If you believe you display symptoms of any of the above skin cancers, please make an appointment immediately so that Clarkston Dermatology can help determine your next step in treatment.

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