WARNING! Scalp Cancer, hidden by hair, can be more dangerous than regular skin cancer due to late diagnosis!
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. There are several types of cancer that originate in the skin.
The most common types are:
- Basal cell carcinoma (70 percent of all skin cancers)
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It typically appears as a small raised bump that has a pearly appearance. It is most commonly seen on areas of the skin that have received excessive sun exposure. These cancers may spread to the skin around the cancer but rarely spread to other parts of the body.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (20 percent of all skin cancers)
Basal and Squamous cell types are classified as non-melanoma skin cancer.
- Melanoma (5 percent of all skin cancers) is the third type of skin cancer.
Melanoma is less common than basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, but potentially much more serious.
Am I At Risk?
People with any of the factors listed below have a higher risk of developing skin cancer and should be particularly careful about sun exposure.
- long-term sun exposure
- fair skin (typically blond or red hair with freckles)
- place of residence (increased risk in Southern climates)
- presence of moles, particularly if there are irregular edges, uneven coloring, or an increase in the size of the mole
- family history of skin cancer
- use of indoor tanning devices
- severe sunburns as a child
- non-healing ulcers or nodules in the skin.
Early identification of skin cancer can save your life. See your dermatologist regularly.
Skin Cancer Facts:
- Over a million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year.
- More than half of all new cancers are skin cancers.
- One in 5 Americans will get skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- One person dies every hour from cancer, melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer.
- Nationally, there are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung, and colon.
- Melanoma kills more young women than any other cancer.
- White men over age 50 have the highest risk of getting skin cancer.
- The risk of developing melanoma has more than doubled in the past decade.
- While melanoma is uncommon in African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is most deadly for these populations.
- Putting proven cancer prevention and early detection techniques into action could eliminate at least 100,000 cancer cases and 60,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.
- Consistent, daily use of sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 15, can provide a substantial amount of protection against sunburn and subsequent skin damage.