Early and proactive detection is key in defending against many different types of skin conditions and can even be the difference between life and death. Detection should be treated with the same level of importance as protection. You should do a thorough self-exam once a month and see a Board-Certified Dermatologist for a skin screening examination at least once a year, especially if you have a history of significant sun exposure or a family history of skin cancer. Pay attention to any changes in freckles, moles, or blemishes, and let your doctor know if anything looks suspicious.
Each year skin cancers make up over half of all new cancers in the United States, and there are more skin cancer cases diagnosed than all other types of cancers combined. While there are different types of serious skin cancers, melanoma is the most extreme. Melanoma grows aggressively and can metastasize, meaning it can even spread to other parts of the body. In 2019, over 192,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with Melanoma and this cancer is expected to take the lives of 7,230 individuals.
Each year, there are more than three million cases of skin cancer, with basal cell carcinoma accounting for 80 percent of all skin cancer cases. The next most frequent form is squamous cell carcinoma, representing about 16 percent of the total. Malignant melanoma makes up the remaining 4 percent. Each of these types of skin cancer is unique, and none of them transform into another type. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are not typically life-threatening, and with early detection, can be successfully treated.