Skin cancer

Other names: Cancer, skin

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells, most commonly developing on skin exposed to the sun. There are three major types of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma. You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and checking your skin for suspicious changes.



Where Skin cancer develops Skin cancer primarily develops on sun-exposed areas such as the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, and hands. It can also occur in areas not usually exposed to sunlight.


Basal cell carcinoma signs and symptoms


Squamous cell carcinoma signs and symptoms


Melanoma signs and symptoms


Less common Skin cancers Other less common types include Kaposi Sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and Sebaceous gland carcinoma.


Make an appointment if you notice any skin changes that worry you.


Skin cancer occurs due to mutations in the DNA of skin cells caused by factors like UV radiation from sunlight. Other factors like toxic substances or weakened immune systems may also contribute to the risk of skin cancer.


Factors increasing the risk of skin cancer include fair skin, history of sunburns, excessive sun exposure, moles, family history of skin cancer, weakened immune system, exposure to radiation or certain substances.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Be prepared for your doctor's appointment by noting symptoms, personal information, medications taken, and questions to ask your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options.

Tests and Diagnosis

Diagnosing skin cancer may involve skin examination and a biopsy to confirm the type of cancer. Further tests may be done to determine the extent of the cancer.

TREATMENTs and Drugs

Treatment options vary based on the type and stage of skin cancer but may include freezing, surgery (excisional or Mohs), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and biological therapy.


Prevent skin cancer by avoiding midday sun exposure, wearing sunscreen year-round, protective clothing, avoiding tanning beds & sun-sensitizing medications. Regularly check your skin for changes and report them to your doctor promptly.


  1. What are the three major types of Skin cancer?

Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, Melanoma.

  1. What are some signs of Basal cell carcinoma?

Pearly or waxy bump; flat flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion.

  1. What are some preventive measures for Skin cancer?

Avoiding midday sun exposure; wearing sunscreen; protective clothing.

  1. When should you see a doctor regarding changes in your skin?

If you notice any skin changes that worry you.

  1. What factors can increase the risk of Skin cancer?

Fair skin; history of sunburns; excessive sun exposure; moles; weakened immune system; family history.

  1. How is Skin cancer diagnosed?

Through skin examination and biopsy.

  1. What is Mohs surgery used for?

Larger recurring or difficult-to-treat Skin cancers.

  1. Why is it important to check your skin regularly?

To detect any new growths or changes in existing Moles early.

  1. What lifestyle habits can help prevent Skin cancer?

Avoiding tanning beds; wearing protective clothing; regular use of sunscreen.

  1. How does UV radiation contribute to Skin cancer development?

UV radiation causes mutations in the DNA of skin cells leading to uncontrolled growth.