Skin cancer (patient information)

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Skin cancer (patient information)
ICD-10 C43-C44
ICD-9 172, 173
ICD-O: 8010-8720
MeSH D012878

Skin cancer


What are the types of skin cancer?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?


When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Skin cancer?


What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Skin cancer On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

Images of Skin cancer

Videos on Skin cancer

FDA on Skin cancer

CDC on Skin cancer

Skin cancer in the news

Blogs on Skin cancer

Directions to Hospitals Treating Skin cancer

Risk calculators and risk factors for Skin cancer

Editor-in-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S.,M.D. [1] Associate Editor-In-Chief: Sara Mohsin, M.D.[2] Jinhui Wu, M.D.


Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types in the United States. And the number of skin cancer cases has been on the rise for the past few decades. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer and melanoma. Other unusual form is Kaposi's sarcoma. Known risk factors invlove sunlight (solar UV radiation) exposure, light-colored skin, hair and eyes, moles, age, family history, etc. Skin cancer can appear on the head, face, neck, hands and arms. The patients may not feel any discomfort during the early period of cancer development. With the development of cancer, skin lesions appear. Skin biopsy is the most important test for the diagnosis. Early diagnosis is very important for the patients' prognosis. So, you should have your doctor check any suspicious skin markings and any changes in the way your skin looks. Treatments can work well when cancer is found early. If not treated, some types of skin cancer cells can spread to other tissues and organs. The preventive measures include skin protection while exposure under sunlight or UV light, self-check of any suspicious skin markings and skin changes. If you find any suspicious sign, go see your dermatologist as soon as possible.

Types of skin cancer

Who is at risk for skin cancer

Clinical data has suggested that the development of melanoma is related to several factors as follows:

Treatment options

Patients with skin cancer have many treatment options. The selection depends on the stage of the tumor. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these methods. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next.

Prevention of skin cancer

The best way to lower the risk of skin cancer is to avoid too much exposure to the sun and other sources of UV light. Regular self check is also important.


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