Skin Cancer


This is the most common form of cancer. It often happens on body parts that get a lot of sun, like your head, face, neck, arms and hands. Anyone can get skin cancer, but it's more common in older people and in people who have light skin, hair and eyes.


Cancer forms because of a mutation in a cell's DNA. This is the genetic blueprint that determines how every cell grows and functions. DNA can mutate on its own, or it can be affected by the things you do, eat and breathe every day. For skin cancers, repeated sun exposure is often the culprit.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are three main types of skin cancer. The first two are called "basal cell skin cancer" and "squamous cell skin cancer." Together, these are known as "nonmelanoma" skin cancers. They usually form as reddish bumps on the skin. These are common and are usually treated successfully. The third type is called "melanoma." It usually begins as a mole on your skin. This is the most dangerous. It can be hard to treat. And it can spread through your body.


Treatment options depend on the type of cancer you have, how much it has grown and whether or not it has spread. Cancer or precancer cells in the outer layer of skin can sometimes be treated with a cream or a lotion. Cancer cells that go deeper may be removed with surgery or with another method. If your cancer is more serious, you may benefit from options such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy. You doctor will create a care plan that is right for your needs.