Why is it important to detect skin cancer early?

Why is knowing about skin cancer important?

Most skin cancers result from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight, which is why preventive measures, such as regularly applying sunscreen, are so important. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common and usually appear in sun-exposed areas, such as the neck, ears and eyes.

Why is it important to detect melanoma early?

This form of cancer starts in the melanocytes, cells deep in the epidermis, or in moles on the surface of the skin that produce pigment. Early detection and treatment are critical to prevent this cancer from spreading throughout the body.

What is considered early detection for skin cancer?

Although the American Cancer Society does not have guidelines for the early detection of skin cancer, knowing your own skin is important to finding skin cancer early. You should know the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles, and other marks on your skin so that you’ll notice any new moles or changes in existing moles.

What can happen if skin cancer is not treated early?

Like BCCs, SCCs are highly curable when caught and treated early. However, if left to develop without treatment, an SCC can become invasive to skin and tissue beyond the original skin cancer site, causing disfigurement and even death. Over 15,000 Americans die each year from SCCs.

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What is the most curable skin cancer?

Melanoma is the most deadly of all the skin cancers and affects over 44,000 Americans each year. Although thousands of Americans will die from this disease, melanoma is almost always curable when detected in its earliest stages.

Can early melanoma be cured?

How dangerous is melanoma? Melanoma is usually curable when detected and treated early. Once melanoma has spread deeper into the skin or other parts of the body, it becomes more difficult to treat and can be deadly.

How long does melanoma take to spread?

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

How early can you get skin cancer?

Age. Most basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas typically appear after age 50. However, in recent years, the number of skin cancers in people age 65 and older has increased dramatically.

Is Stage 1 melanoma serious?

Learn more about melanoma treatments here. Prognosis for Stage 1 Melanoma: With appropriate treatment, Stage I melanoma is highly curable. There is low risk for recurrence or metastasis. The 5-year survival rate as of 2018 for local melanoma, including Stage I, is 98.4%.

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