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Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skin cells and accounts for more than 50 percent of all cancers. In the US alone, more than 1 million Americans a year will be diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancer, and 62,480 will be diagnosed with melanoma, according to the American Cancer Society.
There are three main types of skin cancer, including:
To prevent melanoma, it is important to examine your skin on a regular basis, and become familiar with moles, and other skin conditions, in order to better identify changes. According to recent research, certain moles are at higher risk for changing into malignant melanoma. Moles that are present at birth, and atypical moles, have a greater chance of becoming malignant.
Melanomas vary greatly in appearance. Some melanomas may show all of the ABCD (asymmetry, border, color, diameter) characteristics, while other may only show changes in one or two characteristics. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Melanoma is a disease of the skin in which cancer cells are found in the melanocytes, the cells that produce color in the skin or pigment known as melanin. Melanoma usually occurs in adults, but it may occasionally be found in children and adolescents. Melanoma may also be called cutaneous melanoma or malignant melanoma. Melanoma is the rarest, but most virulent, form of skin cancer.
Melanoma is a more serious type of cancer than the more common basal cell cancer, or squamous cell cancer. Although the incidence of melanoma is lower than other types of skin cancer, it has the highest death rate and is responsible for a majority of all deaths from skin cancer.
Melanoma most often appears on fair-skinned men and women, but people with other skin types can be affected. Rarely, melanomas can form in parts of the body not covered by skin such as the eyes, mouth, vagina, large intestine, and other internal organs.
For a referral to a melanoma and skin cancer expert at Beaumont, call 877-BEAT-CANCER (877-232-8226) today.