Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can be divided into two types: non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer), and melanoma, depending on what type of cell the skin cancer comes from.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and is the seventh most common cancer in the United States and is increasing at faster rates than any other cancer.

Melanoma’s can be anywhere on your body. The first symptom can often be a new mole or change in it’s size, shape, or color.

If you or your doctor notice a new mole or change they may suggest a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure in which they excise or take a sample of the tissue and send it to the pathologist for diagnosis.

To treat melanoma surgical excision of the cancer involved skin as well as a margin of normal skin around it is required. The surgeon will try to remove 1 centimeter to 2.5 centimeters of healthy skin around the tumor, depending on the size of the visible melanoma. Treatment may include additional testing, consultation with an oncologist, and/or lymph node biopsy.

To reduce your risk of melanoma, avoid sun exposure. Severe sunburn is a major risk factor.

If found and treated in the early stages the chances of recovery are good.

For more information on non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer click here.