The numbers alone get your attention. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S., a number that increases each year. One in five people will get skin cancer during his or her lifetime. Throughout the U.S., including areas around Chapel Hill, Durham, and Sanford, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. The good news is it’s also the most preventable – and treatable – of all cancers. The mission at Central Dermatology Center is educating patients about skin cancer prevention and detection. Mohs surgery, Dr. Beth Goldstein’s specialty, is the most effective treatment for many patients diagnosed with skin cancer.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are 3 types of skin cancer that make up the vast majority of diagnosed cases:
- Basal cell carcinoma – This is the most common form of all cancer, not just skin cancer. Nearly 8 out of 10 skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas. They typically develop on exposed areas of the skin, most commonly the face and neck, but may occur anywhere. Once treated, basal cell cancers rarely recur in the same spot. People who are diagnosed with basal cell cancer are also more likely to develop similar tumors elsewhere on their bodies.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – About 20% of skin cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. They commonly develop on areas of the body exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Squamous cell cancers are somewhat more aggressive than basal cell cancers. Very rarely do these tumors spread and invade lymph nodes.
- Melanoma – The least common, but most dangerous, form of skin cancer is melanoma. Although melanoma can appear without warning, it may begin in or near an existing mole or freckle, or other changing spot on the skin. It can be pink, brown, black, or multiple colors. If detected early, surgery alone is an effective treatment. In later stages, treatment is more complicated.
Once you’ve read more about preventing skin cancer and how to detect it early, request a consultation online, or call Central Dermatology Center at (919) 401-1994 to schedule an appointment.