Skin Cancer – Non-Melanoma
Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skin cells. Most skin cancers appear in older people, but skin damage from the sun begins at an early age.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer; it grows slowly and rarely spreads elsewhere in the body. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type. Both of these cancers are treatable.
A biopsy is the only way for your doctor to know for sure if you have cancer. A biopsy for skin cancer can be done in one of several ways.
Surgery is the most common treatment for skin cancer. Some types of skin cancer growths can be removed easily with minor surgery, but others may require a more extensive surgical procedure.
Most treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer affect only the areas being treated. Because of this local treatment, side effects are usually minimal.
Because sun exposure is the most important factor in the development of skin cancer, limit your time in the sun and use sun-protection measures when you are outdoors.
Learn more about non-melanoma skin cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) for patients. It includes information about prevention, screening, and treatment.