Basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignancy in man, and while it does not usually spread, it can be locally invasive and disfiguring. Unfortunately, a vast majority of these are located on the head and neck, although they can be found virtually anywhere on the body. The major subdivision of basal cell carcinomas is based upon their histology, or how they look under the microscope. Some are well circumscribed, while others grow subtly in strands, making them difficult to eradicate without special surgery, such as Mohs surgery.
One of the more feared skin cancers is melanoma. These tumors are less common than the aforementioned two, but are responsible for most of the deaths from skin cancers. Melanoma also is a devastating disease because it often diagnosed in significantly younger patients than those usually thought of as having cancer.
Importantly though, if detected early, melanoma as well as many other skin cancers are curable surgically. This fact emphasizes the importance of routine self examination, as well
as the need for a skilled set of healthcare eyes to evaluate your skin.
As always, no matter what your diagnosis, we are available for consultation.
This page is provided as a primer on skin cancer; there are many great resources both in print and on the internet.