Types of Skin Cancer and What to Look For
Skin cancer is defined by the National Cancer Institute as “cancer that forms in the tissues of the skin. There are several types of skin cancer. Skin cancer that forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment) is called melanoma. Skin cancer that forms in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) is called basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancer that forms in squamous cells (flat cells that form the surface of the skin) is called squamous cell carcinoma. Most skin cancers form in older people on parts of the body exposed to the sun or in people who have weakened immune systems.”
Check for Changes and Call Your Dermatologist
Be sure to check your skin thoroughly on a regular basis. If you have moles or skin sores that are new or are changing, make an appointment to have them examined by a medical dermatologist as soon as possible. A skin biopsy can be performed during an office visit and, depending on the findings of the report, a treatment plan can be developed to manage the cancer before it spreads.
Here in the High Desert of beautiful Bend, Oregon, we get to enjoy amazing weather and a lot of gorgeous sunny days, but unprotected exposure to the sun, especially over a number of years, can increase your chances of skin cancer. Don’t let it get away from you. Make an appointment with us at Central Oregon Dermatology if you have any concerns about moles, rashes, or skin conditions.