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3 Main Skin Cancer Types a Specialist Can Help You Manage

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States? One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Medical reports from Downtown DC give the same indication. In contrast, there are many different types of skin cancer; three account for most cases: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. If you have any concerns about your skin health, it’s essential to see a specialist in skin cancer in Downtown DC who can help you manage any potential risks.

Basal Cell Carcinoma(BCC)

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, is slow-growing and may not present any symptoms early on. However, basal cell carcinoma can spread to other body areas if left untreated. About 85 percent of all skin cancers are basal cells, making it the most common form of skin cancer.

A typical basal cell carcinoma is a risk factor for developing the disease later in life, so you should watch for:

  • Unusually large size
  • Rapidly growing tumors and those that do not heal well

Symptoms of BCC may include:

  • Raised red, scaly bumps that are often tender to the touch
  • Patches of dry, rough skin dotted with open sores.
  • A condition called morphea from basal cell carcinoma features patches of hard, thickened skin along with lesions. While this is not a cancerous type of BCC, it does indicate that you are at risk of cancer recurring and spreading throughout your body.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma(SCC)

Unfortunately, squamous cell carcinoma is often more aggressive than basal cell carcinomas. People who already have a history of skin irritation or inflammation (such as frequent sunburns) are more likely to develop SCC. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 15 percent of all skin cancers cases and is more common in people with lighter complexions.

Symptoms may include curling or thickening the skin on one side of the face near your ear (due to tumor growth on the ear side.). There is also a wart-like or open sore that bleeds or doesn’t heal.


About one in every 50 Americans will develop melanoma during their lifetime, and it is the second most common type of skin cancer. While not as common as basal and squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer death.

People with light complexions and a history of sunburns are more likely to develop melanoma. Unlike basal and squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas often look like new moles or dark blemishes on the skin that evolves rather than existing lesions.

While most melanomas are black or brown, others may be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue, or white. Melanoma can also develop on mucous membranes or in scar tissue, so if you have a mole that is changing size, color, or shape, it’s essential to consult with a specialist right away.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in America, and you must take steps to protect your skin. If you see any changes, such as a new mole or discoloration on your skin, make sure to consult with a specialist right away. Your doctor will help diagnose what stage of skin cancer you have and advise how best to treat it.

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