Taking Better Care Of Your Skin

Understanding The Three Most Common Skin Cancers And Treatment Options

Cancer of any type is a scary diagnosis, and skin cancer is no exception. Without proper treatment, cancer can spread to other nearby areas of the body, including vital organs. And like other cancers, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to stopping cancer from spreading. Seek help from a dermatologist if you have a suspicious skin mole or lesion.

The treatment option for skin cancer varies by what type of skin cancer diagnosis you receive. Understanding the different types can give you an idea of what treatment options you have.


Melanoma is a skin cancer that develops when the cells that give your skin its color begin to grow out of control. These cells are known as melanocytes. While most people think of melanoma as cancer caused by sun exposure, the lesions can appear on skin not exposed to sunlight. Left untreated, melanoma spreads to other parts of the body. For this reason, it's best to have any suspicious mole looked at by a doctor as soon as possible.

The treatment for melanoma includes surgery to remove the cancerous area and stop the spread. In addition, other treatments are often used, such as:

Your oncologist creates the best treatment plan based on your individual diagnosis.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is a very common type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer is not considered life-threatening. But that doesn't make it any less troublesome for patients with this type of cancer.

The lesions appear mainly on the head and neck area. These cancerous lesions grow slowly and most are curable when found early. Treatment includes surgery to remove the cancerous growth and prescription creams.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is not usually life-threatening, but it can be an aggressive form of cancer. It is caused by abnormal, fast-growing squamous cells. Squamous cells are found in the skin's tissues and look like flat, fish scales. These cells are also found in the lining of the digestive and respiratory tracts.

Left untreated, the lesions grow large and may spread to other parts of the body. This leads to other complications. Like the other skin cancers, surgery is required. And depending on the severity of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy are also options.

Most skin cancer treatments are highly successful when the cancer is caught early, with melanoma being the most worrisome with a low survival rate once it has spread a far distance from the original lesion. Your oncologist can answer any questions or concerns you have about your plan to treat skin cancers. If you need skin cancer treatment, talk to a medical professional.