The different types of skin cancer

KYW Staff
September 11, 2019 - 3:08 pm
Sun exposure on skin.

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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Skin cancer is the greatest threat posed by sun exposure. 

Skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma, which is very treatable but can attack several times. As many as half the patients diagnosed with basal cell cancer will develop a new skin cancer within five years.

Another form of the cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, represents about 20 percent of skin cancers. They're more likely than basal cell cancer to invade fatty tissues just beneath the skin and spread.

Melanoma represents less than five percent of skin cancers, but it causes most skin cancer deaths, with more than 8,600 a year. 

If not found and treated early, the cancer is much more likely to spread.