Melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma are the three most common types of skin cancer. Although there are other types, most are not diagnosed as frequently as the top three.
Skin cancer is treated in many different ways. Cancers that grow slowly and remain on the surface of the skin may be able to be successfully treated through cryosurgery and topical chemotherapy. Cancers that have grown or moved deeper into the tissues of the body may need to be surgically excised along with a portion of the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. Cryosurgery uses frozen liquid nitrogen to freeze and remove cancerous lesions that appear on the skin. Curettage is used on tumors that appear on the surface of the skin. A curette is used to gradually scrape away the sections of the tumor. After the tumor is removed, the area is cauterized, further eliminating any other cancer cells that may be present.
While skin cancer may not be able to be prevented, a person can dramatically reduce their risk of being diagnosed with the disease. Limiting the amount of time spent in direct sunlight and wearing appropriate levels of sunscreen can help to reduce a person's risk potential of developing squamous cell cancer. Living a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient amounts of rest will also help to reduce the risk of most types of cancer. Eliminating tobacco products is also an excellent way to reduce the potential risk of skin cancer. Exposure to many of the carcinogens in cigarette smoke has been known to increase the risk of many different types of skin cancer.