Skin cancer

It is possible to find skin cancer early. This cancer begins where we can see it. The first sign may be a slowly growing bump, a changing mole, or a dry and scaly rough patch.

When treated before it spreads, most skin cancers can be cured. Even melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can spread quickly, is curable when treated early.

The key to finding skin cancer early is to know your skin. The following pictures show you some of the many ways that skin cancer can appear on the skin. If you notice a spot or lump that is growing, bleeding, or changing, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

Precancerous growth


Entry_AKs.jpg 
Actinic keratoses (AKs)
The spots on this man’s hand are AKs, a type of precancerous growth. Many people mistake AKs for age spots. AKs can also look like red, scaly growths. If you have age spots or other spots on your skin, it’s important to see a dermatologist. Learn more.

Common types of skin cancer

 Entry_Basal-cell.jpg Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
This is the most common type of skin cancer. Most BCCs are very treatable. Seeing a dermatologist early is important. BCC can grow deep, making treatment more difficult. Learn more.

 melanoma.jpg Melanoma
This skin cancer can spread quickly. When treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes, the cure rate is nearly 100%. Be sure you know the early signs of this very serious skin cancer. Learn more.
 Squamous-cell-carcinoma.jpg Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
This skin cancer tends to form on skin that has been exposed to the sun for years. When found early and treated, SCC is curable. SCC can spread, making treatment more difficult. Learn more.

 

Rare types of skin cancer


MCC_entry.jpg 
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
This skin cancer is rare. It is also aggressive. If you have been diagnosed with MCC, find a doctor who has experience treating it. Learn more.
Seb_car_entry.jpg Sebaceous carcinoma
This cancer often begins on an eyelid. If you have a stye, chalazion, or pink eye that just won’t go away with treatment, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Learn more.
DFSP_entry.jpg Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)
DFSP grows slowly and rarely spreads. Treatment is important because DFSP can grow so deep it reaches the bone. Learn more.

Learn more about skin cancer:

Types of skin cancer:

Related resources:

Images (actinic keratoses, basal cell carcinoma,melanoma) used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

Image (squamous cell carcinoma) used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011; 65:e152-e154.

Image (Merkel cell carcinoma) used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol 2012;66:923-7.

Image (sebaceous carcinoma) used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol 2009;61:549-60.

Image (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans) used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;55:741-60.



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