One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Although more than two people die of skin cancer every hour in the United States, most skin cancer is highly treatable. This highlights the importance of regular full body skin exams with a dermatologist and monthly home self skin exams as skin cancer can grow rapidly.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. This is caused by DNA damage which leads to mutations. These mutations promote rapid proliferation of skin cells and the formation of cancerous malignant growths. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are more commonly found in areas of sun exposure and often present as red scaly patches or bumps that scab, bleed or do not heal. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and can present as a changing, dark brown or black mole with an irregular, shape, border or color.
Who can develop skin cancer?
Anyone can develop skin cancer, regardless of skin color. Some factors which can increase the risk for developing skin cancer include indoor tanning, sunburns, genetics, family history, unprotected exposure to sunlight, atypical moles, and organ transplant.