Most Common Skin Cancer
The most common type of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, commonly referred to as non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). NMSC is by far the most common type of cancer seen in adults, with approximately 75% being basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 25% being squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Both types of skin cancer are on the rise, with over 5 million cases being diagnosed every year. Additionally, it is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and over 95% of these are NMSC.
The most important risk factor for NMSC is UV light exposure, either naturally or from artificial light sources. Specifically, the use of tanning beds increases the risk of SCC 2.5 times and increases risk of BCC by 1.5 times. Dr. Ortleb has a passion for teaching her patients about the risks of sun exposure and how you can take steps to prevent skin cancer. Luckily, most NMSC is able to be cured with surgical destruction or removal in the office.
More Serious Skin Cancer
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that arises from the pigment-producing cells in the skin, called melanocytes. Like with the NMSC discussed above, UV exposure is a significant risk factor for the development of melanoma. Other risk factors include light skin, red hair, tendency to burn, family history of melanoma, tanning bed use, immunosuppression, multiple nevi, and atypical nevi (moles).
Unfortunately, the incidence of melanoma continues to rise and melanoma accounts for 90% of all skin cancer deaths. There are several different treatments for melanoma, including surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Early stage melanoma is treated by surgical excision, but if not caught early enough melanoma can metastasize and cause death. The good news is melanoma is almost completely curable if caught early, so be sure to see a board certified dermatologist for routine skin examinations.
Call today to schedule your skin check! 402-505-8777