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What are non-melanomas?

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The most common skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are non-melanomas and rarely life threatening. They grow slowly, seldom spread beyond the skin, are easily found, and usually are cured. Basal cell carcinoma, which accounts for nearly 3 out of 4 skin cancers, is the slowest growing. Squamous cell carcinoma is somewhat more aggressive and more inclined to spread.

A rare non-melanoma is Kaposi's sarcoma, notable for its purple growths. It's related to a weak immune system and can be more serious. People with AIDS and the elderly tend to get it.

Some non-cancerous skin growths could become cancerous. The most common are actinic keratoses -- crusty, reddish patches on sun-exposed skin that may scratch off but grow back.

From: What Is Skin Cancer? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Skin Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Skin Cancer," "Skin Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) - Patient Version: Treatment Options."

American Cancer Society: "Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cells," "Melanoma Skin Cancer."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 10, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Skin Cancer."

National Cancer Institute: "Skin Cancer," "Skin Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) - Patient Version: Treatment Options."

American Cancer Society: "Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cells," "Melanoma Skin Cancer."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 10, 2017

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What are melanomas?

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