Over one million Americans develop skin cancer every year. The vast majority of skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun; even so, fewer than one-third of adults, adolescents, and children regularly use sun protection. Statistics like these emphasize the importance of patient education regarding skin cancer awareness and the importance of preventative measures to reduce exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
Patients at the greatest risk for developing skin cancer are those who have fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes. Regardless of risk factors, however, it is recommended that all patients use sunscreen daily and minimize exposure to the sun.
From the spectrum of early precancerous lesions, like actinic keratoses, to more concerning skin cancers, such as melanoma, we want our patients to be as informed as possible about their condition and treatment options. The discussion below outlines the facts about the most common forms of precancerous lesions and skin cancer, including their likely causes and treatment options.