If you have a sore or discoloured patch of skin that does not heal within 4 weeks, you should seek medical attention. If diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to cure.
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the world.* There are several types of non-melanoma skin cancers:
Basal cell carcinoma – occurs in the lower most layer of your skin. It usually develops in skin areas exposed to the sun. This cancer is very slow growing and usually does not spread to other parts of your body. About 75% of skin cancers are diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma.
Squamous cell carcinoma – occurs in the top layer of your skin. This cancer is also slow growing but left untreated could spread. Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20% of diagnosed skin cancers.
Symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancers can include a lump or area of skin that does not heal. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a flat, scab-like lesion that does not heal.
Causes of skin cancer can include:
- A family history of skin cancer
- Sun damaged skin
- Having very fair skin (easily sun burned)
- Regular use of sunbeds or sunlamps
- Excessive number of moles or freckles
Our specialist consultants in dermatology can quickly diagnose and treat skin cancer.
To read about other rarer types of skin cancer visit the MacMillan Cancer Support website.
*Source: NHS Choices