Commonly known as skin cancer


-Skin cancer occurs when mutations occur in the DNA of skin cells. The mutations cause the cells to grow out of control and form a mass of cancer cells.

-Over exposure to UV light

-Precancerous skin lesions.

-Family history of skin cancer

-Weakened immune system

-Exposure to radiation or harmful chemicals

The three different types of skin cancer

  • Squamous cells lie just below the outer surface and function as the skin's inner lining.
  • Basal cells, which produce new skin cells, sit beneath the squamous cells.
  • Melanocytes, cells that produce melanin, are located in the lower part of your epidermis. Melanocytes produce more melanin when you're in the sun to help protect the deeper layers of your skin.


Basal cell carcinoma may appear as:

  • A pearly or waxy bump
  • A flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion
Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as:
  • A firm, red nodule
  • A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface

Melanoma signs include:

  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles
  • A mole that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, white, blue or blue-black


  • Freezing (cryosurgery). Destroying early skin cancers with liquid nitrogen
  • Excisional surgery. Cutting out diseased tissue
  • Radiation therapy. Using high-powered energy beams to kill cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy. Using drugs to kill cancer cells
  • Biological therapy. Biological treatments stimulate your immune system in order to kill cancer cells.

Other information

-Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States

-One person dies of melanoma every hour

-About 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun

-The overall 5-year melanoma survival rate for African Americans is only 77 percent, versus 91 percent for Caucasians

-The estimated cost of treating melanoma in 2010 was $2.36 billion

By: Reegyn Powers