Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and Florida has the highest rates of melanoma in the United States. It has the potential to grow and spread, invade the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain or even bone. Early detection, diagnosis and surgery are the most important factors in achieving a positive result when treating a melanoma. For more information on melanoma, please visit the officialSkin Cancer Foundation's website.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer. Caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, it appears most commonly on areas of the body with the greatest sun exposure. BCCs are normally painless and slow to develop. They can look like ulcers or open sores or scars, with a pale waxy appearance being quite common. BCCs spread to other areas extremely rarely but if left to grow they can be extremely disfiguring when finally removed.
BCCs are easily treated in their early stages. The larger the tumor has grown, however, the more extensive the treatment needed. While BCCs seldom spread to vital organs, they can cause major disfigurement and occasionally result in nerve or muscle injury. Certain rare, aggressive forms can be lethal if not treated promptly.
When small skin cancers are removed, the scars are usually cosmetically acceptable. If the tumors are very large, a skin graft or flap may be used to repair the wound in order to achieve the best cosmetic result and facilitate healing.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is another more aggressive skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis).
While SCCs most often occur on sun-exposed areas, they can also occur in any part of the body where squamous cells are present such as the inside of the mouth or even genitalia. They often look like crusty red sores or warts and they may bleed. They can spread to lymph nodes and become extremely difficult to treat, so early intervention is crucial to a cure.
SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow.