Skin cancer occurs when skin cells start growing abnormally, causing cancerous growths. Most skin cancers develop on the visible outer layer of the skin (the epidermis), particularly in sun-exposed areas (face, head, hands, arms, and legs). They are usually easy to detect by examining the skin, which increases the chances of early treatment and survival.
There are different types of skin cancer, each named for the type of skin cell from which they originate. The majority of skin cancers fall into one of the following categories: Basal cell carcinoma (also called BCC) which comes from the basal cells in lowest part of the epidermis, Squamous cell carcinoma (also called SCC) which comes from the skin cells that make up the top layers of the skin, and Melanoma which comes from skin cells called melanocytes. When detected early, skin cancer can be treated.
Preventative plans which begin with the use of sunscreen and annual skin exams are an easy way to improve skin health.