Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers that can develop anywhere on the body’s surface. Majority of melanoma cases are the result of a new or changed mole. When found early, melanoma can be cured, so it is important to observe the skin for any changes and consult a doctor about them right away.
Skin cancer is classified by the shape and type of cells within which it is present. Most common cancers are non-melanoma basal cell or squamous cell cancers, which seldom become life threatening. Melanoma is a less common, but more serious cancer.
The treatment varies for the different skin cancer types:
Malignant melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer requiring prompt surgery that may be followed by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Early melanomas are usually treated by surgery alone. Mohs micrographic surgery is sometimes an option.
Non-melanoma skin cancers – usually treated by surgery, Mohs micrographic surgery is used for many basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Chemotherapy creams are also prescribed to treat pre-cancerous skin lesions such as actinic keratosis.