Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million new cases are diagnosed each year — more than all other cancers combined.
One in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetimes. Skin cancers can affect your appearance as well as your health. The best way to find skin cancer before it becomes a serious problem, is by checking your skin regularly. Most of the brownish spots on your skin – freckles, moles, and birthmarks – are normal, but some may be skin cancers. It is important to look for changes in these spots or the appearance of new spots when checking your skin. See more on skin self-examination here: Screening and Early Detection
There are two categories of skin cancer:
- nonmelanoma skin cancer
Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer
The most common form of skin cancer is nonmelanoma skin cancer. The two major types of nonmelanoma skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Find out more about basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma and how we treat them at the Arizona Cancer Center.
An example of Basal cell carcinoma
An example of Squamous cell carcinoma
Read more about nonmelanoma skin cancers:
- National Cancer Institute: Skin cancer
- American Cancer Society: All about skin cancer - basal and squamous cell
- Skin Cancer Foundation
- American Academy of Dermatology, Skincancernet
The most serious form of skin cancer is melanoma. Melanoma skin cancer occurs much less often than the nonmelanoma skin cancers, but causes more deaths. Approximately 76,690 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year, and over 9,000 people will die from the disease. Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for at least 30 years and continue to increase by almost 3% each year. Learn more about melanoma and how we treat it at The University of Arizona Cancer Center.Additional information about melanoma:
- National Cancer Institute: Melanoma
- Melanoma International Foundation
- American Cancer Society: Learn about skin cancer - melanoma
- Skin Cancer Foundation: Melanoma
Skin Cancer in Arizona
Arizona has some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that Arizona will have approximately 1,400 new cases of melanoma in 2013. The number of nonmelanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is much higher than melanoma incidence, but is difficult to estimate, as they are currently not reported to cancer registries. The Skin Cancer Institute has a special interest in the problem of skin cancer in our state. Between 1985 and 1998, the Arizona Cancer Center sponsored a skin cancer registry that identified cases of all types of skin cancer that occurred within the three southeastern counties of Arizona. This was the only such registry in the United States that tracked all types of skin cancers. These registry data suggest that Arizona has higher skin cancer rates than any other state in the U.S. To learn more, download: Skin Cancer in Arizona.
Most national and international registries only track melanoma and state and national registries suggest that there is significant under-reporting of melanoma. The rates of melanoma estimated from the Southeastern Arizona Skin Cancer Registry, shown below in the table, are substantially higher than estimated from the Arizona Cancer Registry for the same time period. These data suggest that enhanced surveillance is needed.
Skin Cancer News
Below are some interesting articles related to skin cancer.