Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the US. More than one million people are diagnosed each year, generally due to excessive sun exposure. Fortunately, skin cancer is highly treatable with early detection. That’s why it’s so important to frequently check for new growths and see a dermatologist for regular wellness exams.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most prevalent form of skin cancer, which typically develops on the head, neck, or ears. BCC growths appear as white or waxy bumps that sometimes include blood vessels. This skin cancer expands slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. However, bumps will elongate over time destroying skin tissue, and bone.
It’s important to seek immediate treatment for basal cell carcinoma, which can include excision, surgical removal, medicated creams, and radiation.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is another common skin malignancy that generally occurs in areas exposed to the sun. Still, this carcinoma can appear anywhere on the body. Symptoms include a firm red nodule, a flat sore with a scaly crust, a rough and open lip sore, and a sore or rough patch inside the mouth. SCC grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
To prevent bone and tissue damage, it’s critical to treat squamous cell carcinoma right away. Options include excision, surgical removal, medicated creams, and radiation.
Melanoma is the least common skin cancer. Advanced staged cases can spread to other parts of the body, making it difficult to resolve and potentially fatal. However, melanoma is very treatable with early detection. Visible symptoms include a change in the shape or size of an existing mole or a new suspicious growth. Itchy, asymmetrical, color-changing moles with irregular borders are typically signs of melanoma. It’s essential to examine the body regularly and see a dermatologist to detect this serious skin cancer before it spreads.
Melanoma treatment includes surgery, radiation, medications, and in rare cases–chemotherapy.