Skin Cancer

A

Dermatologist

is a doctor who treats diseases of the skin whilst a surgical

oncologist

(or oncologic surgeon) will use surgery to treat cancer. Skin cancer forms in the tissues of the skin. There are several types of skin cancer. Cancer that forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment) is called

melanoma

. Cancer that forms in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) is called basal cell

carcinoma

. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and Melanoma less common but more dangerous. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease. If left untreated, cancer cells can spread from the skin into other tissues and organs. Fair complexion, older age, genetics and excess sun exposure all play a part in increasing risk of developing skin cancer. Most skin cancers form in older people on parts of the body exposed to the sun or in those with weakened immune systems. Different types of skin cancer require different treatment approaches. Surgical removal of the cancer is very common. Minimising sun exposure is the best way to prevent skin damage, including many types of skin cancer.

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