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closer look at the most common types of skin cancer we diagnose at Cumberland skin

Closer Look at the Most Common Types of Skin Cancer

Did you know that, in the U.S., more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, and more than two people die of the disease every hour? Not only is skin cancer the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, it is the most common cancer found worldwide. 

Furthermore, skin cancer rates are on the rise. Year after year, more and more people are being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and many other types of this dangerous disease. 

This is why it’s becoming increasingly important to learn more about skin cancer, including the most common types, how to identify them, and what you can do to protect your skin each and every day. 

3 Most Common Types of Skin Cancer 

Basal Cell Carcinoma 

With three and a half million cases diagnosed every year, basal cell carcinoma is the most commonly diagnosed skin cancer in the United States. This type of skin cancer arises from the basal cells located in the top layer of skin, otherwise known as the epidermis. 

Basal cell carcinoma typically appears as: 

  • Open sores that won’t heal (or heal and then come back)
  • Red or pink patches of skin
  • Shiny nodules
  • Growths that are slightly elevated with rolled edges or an indented center
  • Patches of skin that may also bleed, itch, ooze, or crust over

Make sure to keep an eye on your skin for any changes. Early detection is key for optimal skin cancer treatment! 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma 

Second to basal cell carcinoma on the list of most commonly diagnosed skin cancers, squamous cell carcinoma produces around 1.8 million cases in the United States each year. This is around 205 cases diagnosed every hour. 

Squamous cell carcinoma forms in the squamous cells, which are one of three main types of cells found in the epidermis layer of skin. Squamous cells are flat cells that may become damaged by ultraviolet exposure or other environmental agents. This causes abnormal changes within the cell to occur, which may trigger rapid cell production (what characterizes all cancers). 

Squamous cell carcinoma may show up on the skin as: 

  • Patches that may appear red and scaly
  • Rough, thickened, wart-like sores
  • Open sores that won’t heal (or heal and come back)
  • Elevated lesions with indented centers 

Melanoma Skin Cancer 

While melanoma skin cancer is less common than basal or squamous cell carcinoma, it is far more dangerous due to its increased risk of spreading to other areas of the body. 

Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, which are melanin-producing cells found in the top layer of skin. As with the other forms of skin cancer, when these cells become damaged by ultraviolet exposure or other environmental agents, they start to reproduce out of control, causing the formation of a lesion or growth. 

Melanoma can show up on the skin in a few different ways. The best way to detect this dangerous skin cancer is to follow the ABCDE guidelines: investigate spots for asymmetry, borders, color, diameter, and evolution. We recommend reading our helpful guide on suspicious spots for more information. 

Schedule a Skin Cancer Screening at Cumberland Skin 

Early detection is key for optimal skin cancer treatment! This is why we recommend our patients get an annual skin cancer screening with a professional dermatologist. 

At Cumberland Skin, our team of board-certified dermatologists are highly experienced in evaluating, detecting, and diagnosing the most common types of skin cancer, as well as the more unusual types. 

If you’re near Lebanon, TN, contact Cumberland Skin to schedule your annual skin cancer screening with one of our dermatologists! We’re passionate about helping our patients achieve healthy, happy skin for better overall well-being. 

Personalized Skin Care in Middle Tennessee

Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood, and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website or give us a call today at 615-449-5771. 

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