Wasatch Dermatology Helps You Understand Skin Cancer
- Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer
- Each year, close to 5 million people are treated for skin cancer
- A large percentage of skin cancers are sun-related and preventable
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer
There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The first two, while serious, do not typically spread or metastasize to other areas of the body. Melanoma is a highly aggressive cancer that can spread to other parts of the body, and if not treated appropriately, can be fatal.
It’s important to have your skin checked on a regular basis and to know what to watch for when assessing your own skin. The team at Wasatch Dermatology is experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancer.
What is basal cell carcinoma?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Each year more than 2.8 million people are diagnosed. BCC starts in the epidermis, the top layer of the skin, and often looks like small, shiny bumps in the skin. BCC is typically found on areas of the body that get a lot of sun exposure, like the face, chest and arms. BCC is slow-growing, seldom spreads and is typically not painful.
What is squamous cell carcinoma?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) starts in the squamous cells that are found in the upper layers of the skin, or epidermis. This type of cancer is not usually life-threatening, but can be disfiguring if left untreated. SSC is closely related to sun exposure, and while it can develop on any area of the body, it is often found on areas with high sun exposure. Each year more than 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed in the United States. SCC usually starts as a bump or red, dry scaly patch of skin that can bleed easily.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer, killing close to 10,000 people each year in the United States. Melanoma is closely related to sun exposure and the use of tanning beds. Melanoma starts in the melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanomas often resemble moles with dark, irregular areas that change or grow rapidly. Melanoma is fast-growing and can quickly spread to other areas of the body.
Dr. Maughan is experienced at assessing moles, freckles, brown patches and skin lesions during the diagnosis of skin cancer. She and her team are committed to keeping you healthy. They can help you select appropriate sunscreens and provide educational materials on preventing skin cancer, and they are your partner in early detection. The yearly skin cancer screenings offered by Dr. Maughan can save your life. With early detection and treatment, most skin cancer is very curable.
For more information on skin cancer treatment or to make an appointment with Dr. Julie Maughan, call 801-475-5210. For a list of the health plans accepted by Wasatch Dermatology, visit our Insurance page.