Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are two examples of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
The U.S-based Skin Cancer Foundation says that everyone should examine their whole body, from head to toe, once a month, and take note of:
- any new moles or growths
- moles or growths that have grown
- moles or growths that have changed significantly in another way
- lesions that change, itch, bleed or have not healed
- The most common sign of skin cancer is an abnormal pink or brown spot, patch, or mole.
Doctors do not know why certain cells become cancerous. However, they have identified risk factors for skin cancer.
The most important risk factor for melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. These damage the skin cells' DNA, which controls how the cells grow, divide, and stay alive.
Most UV rays come from sunlight, but they also come from tanning beds.
Other risk factors include:
- Moles – A person with more than 100 moles is more likely to develop melanoma.
- Fair skin, light hair, and freckles – The risk of developing melanoma is higher among people with light skin. Those who burn easily have an increased risk.
- Family history – Around 10 percent of people with the disease have a family history of it.
- Personal history – Melanoma is likelier to form in a person who has already had it. People who have had basal or squamous cell cancers also have an increased risk of developing melanoma.
More about Treatment
There are different forms of skin cancer, and the most common are:
- basal cell carcinoma
- squamous cell carcinoma
Melanoma is the type most likely to develop in a mole.
Enlarged lymph nodes can also signal skin cancer. Lymph nodes are small, bean-sized collections of immune cells beneath the skin. Many are in the neck, groin, and underarms..