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Skin Cancer Types and Treatments

Skin cancer is the most common cancer, with over 100,000 Americans diagnosed in 2020 alone. Of those diagnosed, 7000 are expected to die.

Your skin defends your body from external influences and pathogens. It protects you from sunlight, heat, infection, and injury. It also stores vitamin D, water, and fat. And while your skin is strong, it also needs protection.

At Jordan Valley Dermatology, dermatologist Douglass Forsha, MD, and his team offer skin cancer screenings and in-office treatments. If you’re due for a preventive skin cancer screening or see a suspicious mole, Dr. Forsha offers exams to help you fight skin cancer early when it’s easier to treat.

Skin cancer usually shows no symptoms at first, which makes it hard to diagnose early. But, there are symptoms you can look out for to determine if something is amiss? 

Types of skin cells

Your skin has many layers, but the two primary layers are the outer layer (epidermis) and the inner layer (dermis). Skin cancer starts in your epidermis, which is made of three kinds of cells:

1. Squamous cells

Squamous cells are flat, thin cells that form the top layer of your epidermis.

2. Basal cells

Basal cells are round-shaped cells found underneath the squamous cells.

3. Melanocytes

Melanocytes are responsible for making melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. 

These cells are located in the lower part of your epidermis. Melanocytes are the cells that cause your skin to darken when exposed to the sun.

You can get skin cancer anywhere on your body, but it’s most common in skin that’s frequently exposed to sunlight, like your hands, neck, and face. 

Types of skin cancer

Types of skin cancer are:

The most common type of skin cancer is nonmelanoma skin cancer, a disease that starts in squamous or basal cells. A skin condition, known as actinic keratosis, sometimes turns into squamous cell carcinoma, as well.

Less common is melanoma, which is squamous or basal cell carcinoma, and it’s more likely to attack tissues nearby and spread throughout the rest of your body.

Risk factors for skin cancer

Your general risk of developing some form of skin cancer usually increases with Ultraviolet (UV) exposure from the sun. UV rays can damage and change the genetic material in your skin cells. This can lead to the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. 

Lighter skin carries a higher risk of skin cancer because there’s less UV-protective melanin in the pigment cells. The following features characterize light skin types:

The sun offers many benefits. It improves psychological and mental performance and stimulates the production of vitamin D. This is why UV rays are essential for our body, but in moderation. 

Take advantage of preventive skin cancer screening

Because skin cancers come in so many different forms and are initially symptom-free, it’s important that you take advantage of preventive skin cancer screenings at Jordan Valley Dermatology. The earlier a cancer is discovered, the better we can treat you. 

Call Dr. Forsha in South Jordan, Utah, today to schedule a preventive skin cancer screening. 

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