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Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting one million Americans each year: BCC is actually the most common of all cancers. Anyone with a history of sun exposure can develop BCC. Basal Cell Carcinoma arises in basal cells, which are at the base of the epidermis.
Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, the cells that product skin color. When you are exposed to the sun, the melanin in your skin increases and causes your skin to darken. Melanoma is melanocytes that have been transformed into cancer cells and grow abnormally. These cancer cells can spread to vital internal organs and grow, making it more difficult to treat and much less likely to cure. Melanoma may appear without warning, which is why it is important to know the color, size and location of the moles on your body, and to recognize changes in your moles.
Moles are found anywhere on the skin and occur in various sizes and shapes. They are usually brown, but can also be skin colored. The brown pigment in moles is caused by melanocytes, special cells that produce the pigment melanin. At first, a mole can be flat and tan like a freckle, however, over time, moles usually enlarge and may develop hairs.
SCC is the second most common skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma, and afflicts more than 200,000 Americans each year. This cancer may occur on all areas of the body, but most commonly on the sun exposed skin. Rarely SCC can spread or metastasize to other areas and organs and can become fatal. Lesions on the lip and advanced large lesions are at the highest risk to spread.
Warts are non-cancerous skin-colored growths caused by a virus in the top layer of the skin. Warts may appear as rough, surfaced, thickened lesions or on occasion are flat and smooth. Warts can be present singly or in a cluster (Mosaic warts) such as around finger nails or soles of feet.