Disease and Drug Information
Skin Cancer & Melanoma
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. It begins on the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis, and is most often caused by exposure to UV light including sunlight and artificial UV light from tanning beds. However, skin cancer can appear anywhere on your body even if it wasn’t exposed heavily to UV light.
There are two primary categories of skin cancer:
- Non-melanoma skin cancers
Review this section's important information about skin cancer risk factors, signs and symptoms, staging, and treatment options as you prepare for your first appointment. Then, we will help you and your family in making treatment decisions, together with our medical team at Arizona Oncology. During this process, you will gain the knowledge and confidence to help manage your cancer and continue activities of your daily life.
Some skin cancers are caused by factors that you can control - like overexposure to UV light including the sun and artificial UV light from tanning beds, but other are not. Therefore, while there is no way to completely prevent skin cancer, you can take actions to avoid some skin cancers from developing.
We should be checking ourselves for skin cancer signs and symptoms regularly. We should be aware of the warning signs and know when to see a doctor to have a potential problem looked at.
The sooner a skin cancer can be diagnosed as non-melanoma or melanoma, the better your chance of a positive treatment outcome which is why it is important to perform monthly self-checks. If you find any new marks, moles, or spots on your skin, it is always best to see a skin cancer specialist, who can perform a skin exam and provide a biopsy, if needed.
We understand that a new diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer or melanoma can be scary. Often diagnosed by a dermatologist, you may want to seek a second opinion from a skin cancer specialist. Arizona Oncology cancer specialists are always available to give a second opinion and describe our recommended treatment options.
The type and stage of your skin cancer is important to know because it will affect your treatment options. There are three major types of skin cancers, grouped into two categories:
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Melanoma - The most dangerous type of skin cancer.
Your skin cancer specialist at Arizona Oncology will work together with you and your other doctors or oncology team members to develop a skin cancer treatment plan that’s best for you based on your type and stage of skin cancer and your general overall health. Your treatment options may include:
- Radiation Therapy
- Photodynamic Therapy
- Biologic Therapy
- Targeted Therapy for Melanoma
Arizona Oncology offers an integrated team-oriented approach to provide you with the best possible care for skin cancer, whether it’s melanoma or another type of skin cancer. We will explain the facts and answer your questions at every step along the way. Our team of dedicated, highly-trained cancer specialists is committed to providing the most thorough and compassionate care to our patients.
From support groups and genetic counseling to financial counseling with our Patient Benefit Representatives, the cancer specialists at Arizona Oncology are here for you every step of the way. We encourage you to learn more and take advantage of our supportive care services.
Additional Skin Cancer Education
Arizona Oncology has offices located throughout the state where you will receive state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment in a caring and comfortable environment close to home, work, and family.
- Phoenix Area including West Valley, East Valley, Central Phoenix, and Scottsdale
- Southern Arizona including Tucson and Green Valley
- Northern Arizona including Flagstaff and Prescott Valley
Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about Skin Cancer or ask your cancer care team questions about your individual situation.View All Types of Cancer