The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. People with fair skin, frequent sun exposure and a family history of skin cancer are at greatest risk. Fortunately, skin cancer is almost always curable if detected and treated early.
The most common skin cancers are:
Basal cell carcinoma – 80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinomas appear frequently on sun exposed areas, such as head, neck and hands in fair-skinned people. Left untreated they often grow beyond the skin to muscle and bones which can cause considerable tissue destruction or possible death.
Squamous cell carcinoma – 10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinomas are also typically found in fair-skinned people in sun-exposed areas. These tumors can become invasive and spread (metastasize) to other part of the body and be fatal. When found early and treated properly, the cure rate for both basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas is over 95%. Treatments vary based on the type and location of the tumor.