This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.Skin Cancer Prevention
BackgroundIncidence and mortalityThere are three main types of skin cancer:Basal cell carcinoma.Squamous cell carcinoma (together with basal cell carcinoma, this is referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer).Melanoma.Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms of skin cancer but have substantially better prognoses than the less common, generally more aggressive melanoma.Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States. Its incidence appears to be increasing in some  but not all  areas of the United States. Overall U.S. incidence rates have likely been increasing for a number of years. At least some of this increase may be attributable to increasing skin cancer awareness and resulting increasing investigation and biopsy of skin lesions. A precise estimate of the total number and incidence rate of nonmelanoma skin cancer is not possible, because reporting to cancer registries is not required. However, based on
IntroductionBasal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common malignancy in people of European descent, with an associated lifetime risk of 30%. While exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the risk factor most closely linked to the development of BCC, other environmental factors (such as ionizing radiation, chronic arsenic ingestion, and immunosuppression) and genetic factors (such as family history, skin type, and genetic syndromes) also potentially contribute to carcinogenesis. In contrast to melanoma, metastatic spread of BCC is very rare and typically arises from large tumors that have evaded medical treatment for extended periods of time. BCCs can invade tissue locally or regionally, sometimes following along nerves. A tendency for superficial necrosis has resulted in the name rodent ulcer. With early detection, the prognosis for BCC is excellent. Risk Factors for Basal Cell CarcinomaSun exposureSun exposure is the major
IntroductionBoth rare, high-penetrance and common, low-penetrance genetic factors for melanoma have been identified, and approximately 5% to 10% of all melanomas arise in multiple-case families. However, a significant fraction of these families do not have detectable mutations in specific susceptibility genes. The frequency with which multiple-case families are ascertained and specific genetic mutations are identified varies significantly between populations and geographic regions. A major population-based study has concluded that the high-penetrance susceptibility gene CDKN2A does not make a significant contribution to the incidence of melanoma.Risk Factors for MelanomaSun exposureSun exposure is the major known environmental factor associated with the development of skin cancer of all types. There are different patterns of sun exposure associated with each major type of skin cancer: basal cell
Surgery to remove (excise) a melanoma removes the entire melanoma along with a border (margin) of normal - appearing skin. The width of the border of normal skin removed depends on the depth of the melanoma.
Skin cancer can be cured if found and treated early.Your doctor may check your skin once a year during your annual exam. Or your doctor may suggest a skin exam more often, especially if you have: Familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome. This is an inherited tendency to develop melanoma. Examine your skin every month and be examined by a doctor every 4 to 6 months, preferably by the same doctor each time.Increased occupational or recreational exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.Abnormal moles called atypical moles (dysplastic nevi). These moles are not cancerous, but their presence is a warning of an inherited tendency to develop melanoma.After reviewing evidence from studies, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has not recommended for or against routine skin cancer screening for adults at normal risk.1Get to know your skinSkin self-exam is a good way to detect early skin changes that may mean melanoma. Look for any abnormal skin growth or any change in the