The skin is the largest organ of the body and skin cancer is the most common of all human cancers. Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with lighter skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk.
There are three major types of skin cancers:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
This is the most common type of skin cancer.
- BCCs frequently develop in people who have fair skin, yet they can occur in people with darker skin.
- BCCs look like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.
- BCCs develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
- BCCs are common on the head, neck and arms, yet can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
- Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC is important. BCCs can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer.
- People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people also.
- SCCs often look like a red firm bump, scaly patch or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
- SCCs tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest and back. SCCs can grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement.
- Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this and stop SCC from spreading to other areas of the body.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
- Melanoma frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
- Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
Skin cancer is almost always cured when it is found early and treated properly. It is very important to see your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin. In Phoenix, Dr. Holy can diagnose and treat many skin conditions and cancers. Contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com for more information or to schedule an evaluation.