For more information on common forms of skin cancer, please visit our Skin Cancer page. Familiarize yourself with your skin to notice the changes. Inspect your skin frequently for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and moles. Check your face, neck, ears and scalp with mirrors. You`ll soon receive the latest Mayo Clinic health information you`ve requested in your inbox. Sebaceous gland cancer is a rare and aggressive cancer that usually occurs on the eyelid. This cancer tends to develop around the eyes because there are a large number of sebaceous glands in this area. With proper treatment, the cure rate for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) approaches 95%. The remaining cancers recur some time after treatment. Skin cancer is often caused by ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. The main cause of skin cancer is excessive sun exposure, especially when it comes to sunburns and blisters. The sun`s ultraviolet (UV) rays damage your skin`s DNA, causing abnormal cells to form.
These abnormal cells divide rapidly and disorganized, forming a mass of cancer cells. To help you identify unusual mole features that may indicate melanoma or other skin cancers, remember the letters ABCDE: Squamous cell carcinoma is most commonly seen on areas of skin exposed to the sun, including the hands, face, arms, legs, ears, mouth, and even bald patches on the top of the head. This skin cancer can also form in areas such as mucous membranes and genitals. Recent studies show that the number of skin cancer cases in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. Fortunately, increased awareness among Americans and their health care providers has led to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes. Learn about the types of melanoma, risk factors, causes, warning signs and treatment. Knowing the ABCDE warning signs of melanoma can help you detect melanoma early. Another way to look for possible melanoma is the “ugly duckling sign.” This means that melanoma does not look like any of the other places in the body. He stands out as the ugly duckling in the children`s story. UV light does not cause all melanomas, especially those that occur in areas of your body that are not exposed to sunlight. This suggests that other factors may be contributing to your risk of melanoma.
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses radiation (powerful energy beams) to kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing and dividing. What you need to know: This is the most common type of melanoma. SCC tends to form on skin that is frequently exposed to the sun, such as the edge of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest and back. Many other factors can increase your risk of skin cancer. See the question “Who is most at risk for skin cancer?” – Nodular melanoma: The most aggressive form corresponds to 10-15% of melanoma cases. A mole (nevus) is a benign skin tumor that develops from melanocytes. Almost everyone has moles. Almost all moles (nevus) are harmless, but some types can increase the risk of melanoma. See Risk factors for melanoma to learn more about moles. The symptoms of skin cancer depend on the type of skin cancer that has developed.
Most skin cancers start in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. The epidermis contains three main types of cells: Use the American Academy of Dermatology`s “ABCDE” storage device to learn the warning signs that a spot on your skin may be melanoma: Normally, skin cells grow in a controlled and orderly manner – new healthy cells push older cells towards the surface of the skin, where they die and eventually fall. But when some cells develop DNA damage, new cells can spiral out of control and eventually form a mass of cancer cells. DFSP is a rare skin cancer that starts in your dermis, the middle layer of the skin. It grows slowly, rarely spreads and has a high survival rate. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that starts in the cells (melanocytes) that control the pigment in your skin. This figure shows melanoma cells extending from the surface of the skin to the deeper layers of the skin. UV radiation from tanning beds also increases the risk of melanoma and has been classified as carcinogenic (carcinogenic) by the World Health Organization. Tanning bed use may be linked to more than 6,000 melanoma cases per year in the United States.
What exactly damages DNA in skin cells and how it leads to melanoma is unclear. It is likely that a combination of factors, including environmental and genetic factors, causes melanoma. Still, doctors believe that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and solar lamps and beds is the leading cause of melanoma. Cancer begins when the body`s cells get out of control. Cells in almost any part of the body can turn into cancer and then spread to other parts of the body. To learn more about cancer and how it starts and spreads, see What is cancer? Getting diagnosed with melanoma can be scary. Monitor your skin and moles for changes and visit your doctor regularly for skin exams, especially if you have fair skin, which gives you the best chance of catching melanoma early, when it`s most treatable. How and where it grows: This is similar to the type of superficial spread, which initially develops near the surface of the skin. The tumor usually grows on sun-damaged skin on the face, ears, arms or upper body. BCCs often look like a round flesh-colored growth, a pearl-shaped bump or a pink patch of skin. Small cancerous skin lesions can be removed by a variety of techniques, including simple excision (cut), electrodesiccation and curettage (scraping the tumour and then burning the tissue with an electric needle) and cryosurgery (freezing the area with liquid nitrogen).
Normally, new skin cells form as the cells age and die, or when they are damaged. When this process does not work as it should, rapid growth of cells (some of which may be abnormal cells) occurs. This collection of cells may not be cancerous (benign) that does not spread or cause damage, or cancerous that can spread to nearby tissues or other areas of your body if not detected and treated early. Other important causes of skin cancer are: Most moles begin to appear in childhood, and new moles can form until about the age of 40.