Skin Cancer 101: Melanoma vs. Nonmelanoma

If your dermatologist diagnosis you with skin cancer, it is important to understand the different types and the effects each can have. When most people hear the word “melanoma” it is often synonymous with skin cancer. However, melanoma is just one type of skin cancer and it varies from non-melanoma skin cancer. Both can have serious effects on your body, so it is important to understand the difference between melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma skin cancer is a serious form of skin cancer, it is very rare and very aggressive. Melanoma normally starts in the melanocyctes. These are cells located in the lowest layer of our skin. One of the first effects people with melanoma notice is a mole or darker pigmentation on an area of skin. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin, but it most usually occurs in areas of the body that are exposed more to the sun including the face, neck hands and arms. What makes the melanoma so scary is it is more likely to spread to other parts of your body than nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

There are multiple types of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Some of the most common forms include basal cell carcinoma, angiosarcoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types of skin cancer are not usually as aggressive as melanoma, but they can still have a major effect on the person diagnosed. Additionally, these skin cancers develop from skin cells other than melanocytes, which is often why they are classified as “nonmelanoma” skin cancer. There are different treatment options to reduce the effects of nonmelanoma skin cancer, but in most cases surgery is recommended to remove all of the cancer cells.

Skin Cancer Checkups

It is important to perform regular skin checks to prevent the effects of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. If you find any areas of concern, your dermatologist can help you determine if it is anything to worry about and what the best treatment options would be. Your life can change very quickly with a diagnosis of skin cancer so be proactive now.

Ready to get your skin checked? Make an appointment with us at 561.750.0544!

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