Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Skin Cancer Overview

What is skin cancer?
A person with skin cancer has abnormal cells in the skin that multiply out of control. These cells can form tumors and spread to other parts of the body. The three most common types of skin cancer include malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. The cause of skin cancer is unknown, but exposure to the sun and genetics may play a role in determining risk. About 1 out of 5 people in the US develop skin cancer.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
A normal skin mole is tan, brown, or black, round, and less than 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter. Symptoms of skin cancer include a mole that has changed shape, color or size. Additional symptoms of skin cancer include skin lumps that increase in size, bleed, contain blood vessels, ooze, or become scaly or crusty.

How does the doctor treat skin cancer?
Treatment for skin cancer may include phototherapy, laser therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.

Continue to Skin Cancer Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Cancer References
  1. Campbell FA, Gupta G. The management of non-melanoma skin cancer. Hosp Med. 2005 May;66(5):288-93. [15920859]
  2. Einspahr JG, Bowden GT, Alberts DS. Skin cancer chemoprevention: strategies to save our skin. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2003;163:151-64; discussion 264-6. [12903851]
  3. Ollstein RN. Skin lesions in the elderly: precancer and cancer. Care Manag J. 2004 Summer;5(2):107-11. [16047916]
  4. Saraiya M, Glanz K, Briss P, Nichols P, White C, Das D; Task Force on Community Preventive Services On reducing Exposure to Ultraviolet Light. Preventing skin cancer: findings of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services On reducing Exposure to Ultraviolet Light. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2003 Oct 17;52(RR-15):1-12. [14561953]
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