The most common type of cancer, skin cells are susceptible to the same abnormal, uncontrolled growth that causes other cancers. All types of skin cancers are generally curable, but early detection and treatment is critical. Knowing the type of skin cancer is important to assess the risk and to create the best possible treatment plan. Moreover, people who have had skin cancer are at a higher risk of developing a new cancer, which is why regular self-examination and doctor visits are imperative.
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, 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.
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 type and severity, which may include but is not limited to, freezing, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.