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Skin cancer

Skin cancer: Introduction

Skin cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin. Skin cancer is a common disease, and the incidence of skin cancer is growing faster than any other type of cancer due to the general increase in sunbathing.

Skin cancer is a general name for a group of cancers of the skin. Types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Malignant melanoma affects the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that color skin. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer because it can spread quickly to the rest of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that can also spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and affect the cells just beneath the surface of the skin. It does not spread as easily as malignant melanoma, and it is rare for it to become fatal.

Skin cancer often develops on areas of the body that receive a lot of sun exposure, such as the face, ears, mouth, and back of the hands. However, malignant melanoma can develop even in places that are not exposed to sun.

The risk of developing skin cancer is higher in people who have experienced long-term exposure to the sun, had repeated sunburns or even just one bad sunburn in childhood. Skin cancer is also more likely in people who use tanning beds. Others at risk include those with a family history of skin cancer, people with fair skin, people who have who have multiple moles, or are middle-aged or older.

Symptoms of skin cancer include the appearance of abnormal areas of skin or abnormal-looking moles. Left untreated, some forms of skin cancer can spread dangerously to nearby lymph nodes and then to other areas of the body. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of skin cancer.

Diagnosis of skin cancer begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and an examination that focuses on the skin and the appearance of moles, freckles and lumps. An abnormal lump, lesion, or asymmetrical mole increases the suspicion of a diagnosis of skin cancer.

Confirming a diagnosis of skin cancer includes performing a biopsy of the mole, lump or area of skin suspected of skin cancer. This involves taking a sample of the suspicious area or removing the suspected mole or tumor to examine under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells.

Some cases of skin cancer may be hard to see with the naked eye because the cancer cells may be "hiding" within a mole or freckle. Because of this, seeking medical care and getting a diagnosis of the disease can be delayed. In some cases, skin cancer can resemble normal conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of skin cancer.

Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented by protecting children and adults from sunburn and excessive sun exposure. Treatment of skin cancer varies depending on a variety of factors, such as if the type of skin cancer and if cancer cells have spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of skin cancer....more »

Skin cancer: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be delayed or missed because some cases of skin cancers may not produce any change in skin color. In addition, abnormal areas of skin may not be easily visible, such as when skin cancer occurs on the back. Skin cancer may also grow within a previously existing and normal mole and may not be noticed promptly.

Some symptoms of ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Skin cancer:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Skin cancer. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Skin cancer: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Skin cancer

Home medical tests possibly related to Skin cancer:

Causes of Types of Skin cancer:

Review causes of more specific types of Skin cancer:

Skin cancer: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Skin cancer, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Skin cancer Treatments

The first step in the treatment of skin cancer is prevention. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid sunburn and sun exposure in both children and adults. Just getting one bad, blistering sunburn during childhood raises the risk of developing skin cancer.

Minimizing long-term damage to the skin and its cells and the development of skin cancer includes avoiding sun exposure ...Skin cancer Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Skin cancer may include:

Review further information on Skin cancer Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Skin cancer

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Skin cancer may include:

Stories from Users for Skin cancer

Real-life user stories relating to Skin cancer:

Skin cancer: Animations

Medications or substances causing Skin cancer:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Skin cancer as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Skin cancer: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Skin cancer may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Skin cancer

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Skin cancer:

Misdiagnosis and Skin cancer

Spitz nevi misdiagnosed as dangerous melanoma skin cancer: One possible misdiagnosis to consider in lieu of melanoma is spitz nevi. See melanoma and spitz more »

Psoriasis often undiagnosed cause of skin symptoms in children: Children who suffer from the skin disorder called psoriasis can often more »

Skin cancer: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Skin cancer

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Skin cancer:

Skin cancer: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Skin cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Skin cancer

Half of all new cancers are skin cancers, and more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. (Source: excerpt from Skin Cancer: NWHIC)

Half of all new cancers are skin cancers, and more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be... (Source: excerpt from Skin Cancer: NWHIC)

Definitions of Skin cancer:

A malignant neoplasm of the skin
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Detailed list of causes of Skin cancer

The list below shows some of the causes of Skin cancer mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Skin cancer?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Skin cancer. Of the 45 causes of Skin cancer that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 45 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Skin cancer:

The following list of conditions have 'Skin cancer' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Skin cancer or choose View All.




Conditions listing medical complications: Skin cancer:

The following list of medical conditions have Skin cancer or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.







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Classifications of Skin cancer:

Medical Conditions associated with Skin cancer:

Skin rash (461 causes), Skin symptoms (5992 causes), Skin problems (3422 causes), Cancer-related symptoms (173 causes), Rash (1165 causes)

Symptoms related to Skin cancer:

Skin rash (461 causes), Skin blisters (426 causes), Skin ulcers, Skin color changes (2348 causes), Malignant melanoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Basal cell carcinoma, Marjolin ulcer, Rodent ulcer, Superficial spreading melanoma, Nodular melanoma, Acral lentigenous melanoma, Clarke's classification

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

These general medical articles may be of interest:

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Skin cancer

Medical research papers related to Skin cancer include:

Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Skin Cancer:

More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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