Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. About one million people will develop skin cancer each year. For people with skin cancer, Fairview offers comprehensive screening, diagnosis and treatment. In addition, Fairview, through its affiliation with the Masonic Cancer Clinic at University of Minnesota, offers Mohs surgery, a highly specialized treatment for aggressive skin cancers.
Skin cancers are named for the type of cells that become cancerous. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. These cancers usually form on the head, face, neck, hands and arms. The third type of skin cancer, melanoma, is the most serious form of skin cancer and can occur on any skin surface. Finding and treating melanoma skin cancer early is important and may help reduce the risk of death from melanoma.
There are three basic types of cancer treatments, with many different variations within each.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, the type of treatment your doctor prescribes will depend on the type of cancer, where it is located, its size, the stage of development the cancer is in and your overall health.
When to call your doctor
Not all changes in the skin are a sign of cancer, but you should consult your doctor if changes in the skin are seen.
Some signs to look for:
- A sore that does not heal
- A rough, red, pink, or brown, raised, scaly patch on the skin
- A small, raised, smooth, shiny and waxy patch of skin
- Skin that is scaly, bleeding or crusty
- Skin that looks similar to a scar and is firm
- Cracking or peeling of the lower lip that is not helped by lip balm