Skin cancers are the most common form of cancer and are usually detected when a patient notices the sudden appearance of a skin lesion, a change in the appearance of their skin, or a sore that will not heal.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common forms of skin cancer. Melanoma or mole cancer is the most serious form of skin cancer because it tends to spread (metastasize) throughout the body quickly. Some benign skin lesions (e.g. seborrheic keratoses) look very similar to melanoma and may require evaluation by your dermatologist to distinguish them.
Treatment of skin cancers requires removal of the lesion by excision. The lesion is then sent to a pathologist to confirm the diagnosis and to ensure that the entire cancer has been removed. Further management is dependent on the type of cancer and may vary from regular skin checks with repeat visits to the doctor in the event of the appearance of a new lesion to radical surgery if the cancer has spread dramatically and/or has metastasized.
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