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The Major Types of Skin Cancer

Basal-Cell Carcinoma:

The most common of all cancers, BCC arises in the tiny, round basal cells of the upper layer of the skin, or epidermis. Usually discovered on the face, ears, lips and around the mouth, basal-cell cancer rarely spreads and is nearly 100 percent curable when treated early. If missed, however, it can cause disfigurement. Affects approximately 800,000 Americans annually.

Squamous-Cell Carcinoma:​

Forms in the flat scalelike squamous cells of the epidermis. Typically found on the face, ears, lips, mouth, neck, hands, arms and back. Unlike basal-cell carcinoma, SCC can spread to other parts of the body. With early treatment, is 95 percent curable. Affects approximately 225,000 Americans annually, claiming 2,000 lives.

Malignant Melanoma:

The most rapidly increasing malignant tumor in the United States. Melanoma is a cancer of the melanocytes. The disease may develop as a new mole (a mole is merely a cluster of melanocytes) or as part of a preexisting mole. Highly curable if diagnosed and treated early. When it spreads (metastasizes), typically to the lungs or liver, can be extremely difficult to cure. Affects approximately 48,000 Americans annually, claiming 9,600 lives.

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Caring for Your Teenager (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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