Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Prevention and early diagnosis play critical roles in the fight against skin cancer, regardless of the type a person develops.
Skin cancer has many causes, but most have to do with a history of sunburn and exposure to sun as a child. Individuals with fair skin, light eyes, and freckles are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer, as are those who have more than the average number of moles. A family history of this form of cancer also increases a person’s risk of developing a melanoma or carcinoma.
Individuals with chronic, repeated, or prolonged sun exposure, such as those who reside in warmer climates, work outdoors, or frequently engage in outdoor activities, as well as those who use tanning booths, are also at a greater risk of developing skin cancer.
Skin cancer is treatable when detected early and has a high cure rate. Seek medical attention when suspicious lesions appear or a change in a mole is detected. A total body exam is suggested annually and more frequently in individuals at high risk or with a history of skin cancer. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the skin cancer, which may include but is not limited to, freezing, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
There are three main types of skin cancer, and each has different symptoms. Below, we’ve provided brief descriptions of these cancers and how they may manifest.