Skin cancers can be treated, and the chances of a fully effective removal are far greater when detected early. If left untreated skin cancers may spread with fatal consequences.
Three Types of skin cancer exist: Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Melanoma can spread extremely rapidly, making it the most vicious type of skin cancer. A melanoma, if it penetrates deeper into the skin, can be deadly. The depth (thickness) of the melanoma is often the deciding factor in a patient’s chances of survival.
Chances of survival are high for shallow melanoma, with a cure rate of 95% if it is less than 0.03 inches thick. When left to 0.2 inches in thickness the cure rate drops down to less that 55%. It is very important to detect and treat melanoma in its early stages to ensure your best chances of recovery.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Known as BCC, this kind of cancer is the most common world-wide. However, it is not particularly lethal and very few people die from BCC.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Known as SCC, this is the second most common form of skin cancer. Unlike BCC, SCC does not always stay in one location and is able to spread to other parts of the body.
What puts you at increased risk of skin cancer?
Risk factors that make you are more likely candidate for contracting a skin cancer include:
- Family history of skin cancer
- If you spend a lot of time in the sun at work or recreationally
- If you use tanning beds
- If you have moles, especially if they change shape, size or color, or if they itch
- If you have been badly sunburned once or more in your life.