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Skin cancer


Skin cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the skin. It is caused by the abnormal growth of skin cells due to DNA damage, often caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. There are several types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, as it can spread to other parts of the body and is often resistant to treatment. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are less likely to spread but can still be serious if not treated promptly.


The signs and symptoms of skin cancer can vary depending on the type of cancer, but may include:

  • A new or changing mole or lesion on the skin.
  • A sore that does not heal
  • A red or inflamed patch of skin
  • A lump or bump on the skin that is growing.
  • Itching, bleeding, or oozing from a mole or lesion


Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type and stage of the cancer, as well as the individual’s overall health. Options may include:

  • Surgery to remove the cancerous cells or tumor.
  • Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors.
  • Chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy to stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy to target specific proteins or genes that promote cancer growth.

Prevention is the best way to reduce the risk of skin cancer. This includes wearing protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors, avoiding tanning beds, and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun during peak hours. It is also important to perform regular skin self-exams and to see a dermatologist for regular skin cancer screenings. If you suspect you have skin cancer, please call us at 202-737-6800 to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.