Skin Cancer Screening

Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of skin cells. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Risk factors include pale skin, family history of melanoma, being over 40 years old, and regular sun exposure. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.

The most common skin cancers are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma – 80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – 10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
  • Melanoma – 5% of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a rare but very dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease.

Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading. Regular full body screening is recommended. A biopsy is performed to properly diagnose suspected cancerous growths.

Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size and location of the tumor. Most options remove the entire growth and are usually effective. Removal procedures are usually simple and require only a local anesthetic in an outpatient setting.

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