Skin Cancer

    • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): the most common type of skin cancer found on the head, scalp, neck, chest, forearm, and hands as a small, red, dome-shaped or pearly looking nodule. It is a type of skin cancer that if left untreated, the lesion can often bleed, crust over, heal, and repeat the cycle, and can extend below the skin to the bones and nerves, causing considerable local tissue damage.
    • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): the second most common skin cancer diagnosed in the United States. It is primarily found in fair-skinned populations. Typically, location includes the rim of the ear, the face, scalp, lips, and mouth. Cancer may appear as a red, scaly bump or patch, or as a red patch with ulceration. SCC can develop into large masses and become invasive and metastasized to other parts of the body.  Therefore, early detection and treatment is important. When found early and treated properly, the cure rate for both BCC and SCC is over 95 percent.
    • Melanoma: Malignant Melanoma is rare compared to BCC and SCC, but the most deadly of all skin cancers. Excessive and cumulative sun exposure, especially severe sunburn is the single most important preventable cause of melanoma. Melanoma may appear suddenly or begin in or near an existing mole or dark spot in the skin. It is important to self-observe and know the location and appearance of the moles on the body to detect changes early. Any changing mole must be examined by a dermatologist. Early melanoma can be removed while still in the curable stage.

What to look for and how:

    • Asymmetry – One half does not match the other half
    • Border – The edges are notched or ragged
    • Color – Varied shades of tan, black, and brown
    • Diameter – Greater than 6 millimeters
    • Evolving – Changing in size, shape, or shade