Skin cancer (nonmelanoma) is the most common type of cancer and is defined as the abnormal growth of cells in the skin. It is almost always cured when it is found early and treated. If you notice changes in your skin or an abnormal lesion develops, it is important to consult your physician as soon as possible.
In addition to treating nonmelanoma skin cancers, our UF surgeons also treat the most serious form of skin cancer known as melanoma.
Skin cancer: What you need to know
- Most skin cancers are of the nonmelanoma type and are usually caused by too much sun exposure or by using tanning beds or sunlamps.
- Skin cancer usually appears as a growth that changes in color, shape or size. This can be a sore that does not heal or a change in a preexisting mole.
- The most common treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers is a biopsy procedure. The physician numbs the skin and removes the growth, which is then sent to a lab to test for cancer cells.
- If it does contain cancer cells, the appropriate treatment is to remove all of the cancer. After treatment, you will need regular checkups because having skin cancer once makes you more likely to get it again.
Skin cancer: Our expertise
The two main types of nonmelanoma skin cancer that we treat are:
- Basal cell carcinoma usually affects areas that get the most sun — the head, neck, back, chest or shoulders. The nose is the most common site. Signs of basal cell carcinoma can vary greatly. Some of the most common signs include skin changes such as a firm, pearly bump with tiny blood vessels; a red, tender, flat spot that bleeds easily; a small, fleshy bump with a smooth, pearly appearance; or change in the size, shape or color of a wart or mole.
- Squamous cell carcinoma usually affects the face, head or neck. Signs of squamous cell carcinoma include any persistent, firm, red bump on sun-exposed skin; patch of skin that feels scaly, bleeds or develops a crust; or a skin growth that looks like a wart; or a sore that does not heal.
Related conditions & treatments
The UF Health Jacksonville cancer program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons.