top of page

Skin Cancer

The most common type of cancer worldwide is skin cancer. As the name suggests, this type of cancer originates in the skin cells and its incidence is associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources, such as tanning beds. There are three main types of cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.   

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): The most common type of skin cancer. It typically appears on areas of the skin exposed to the sun, such as the face and neck. BCCs tend to grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): The second most common type. SCCs can occur on sun-exposed areas and may grow more quickly than BCCs. While they are less likely to spread than melanoma, some SCCs can be aggressive.

Melanoma: Despite being the least common of the three types of skin cancer, melanoma is more aggressive and has a higher likelihood of spreading to other parts of the body. It often develops from moles but can also appear as a new growth on the skin.

Risk Factors

UV Exposure: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds is a significant risk factor.

Fair Skin: People with fair skin, light-colored eyes, and light hair are at a higher risk.

History of Sunburns: Having a history of severe sunburns, especially during childhood, increases the risk.

Moles: Having a large number of moles or atypical moles (dysplastic nevi) may elevate the risk.

Family History: A family history of skin cancer may increase susceptibility.

Weakened Immune System: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as organ transplant recipients, are at a higher risk.



The appearance of skin cancer can vary, but common signs include changes in the size, shape, or color of existing moles or the development of new growths on the skin. Irregular borders, asymmetry, uneven color distribution, and changes in diameter are potential warning signs.



Dermatologists often diagnose skin cancer through visual examination and may perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy involves the removal of a small sample of tissue for laboratory examination.



Treatment options depend on the type, stage, and location of the skin cancer. Common treatments include surgical removal, cryotherapy (freezing), radiation therapy, topical medications, and, in some cases, immunotherapy or targeted therapy for advanced melanoma.



Preventing skin cancer primarily involves adopting sun-safe practices and being proactive in protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Here are some key strategies to help prevent skin cancer: sunscreen, protective clothing, sunglasses, regular skin checks, and avoiding tanning beds.

bottom of page