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Skin Cancer

Summary

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but it is more common in people who

  • Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned
  • Have light-colored skin, hair and eyes
  • Have a family member with skin cancer
  • Are over age 50

You should have your doctor check any suspicious skin markings and any changes in the way your skin looks. Treatment is more likely to work well when cancer is found early. If not treated, some types of skin cancer cells can spread to other tissues and organs. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and biologic therapy. PDT uses a drug and a type of laser light to kill cancer cells. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (Logical Images)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
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Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Surgeon General)

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
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  • (American Society for Radiation Oncology) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Living With

  • (American Cancer Society)

Related Issues

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)

Specifics

  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Society for Surgery of the Hand)
  • (American Podiatric Medical Association)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute)

Images

  • (Logical Images)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Academy of Dermatology)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Patient Handouts

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