Nonmelanoma skin cancer usually appears as a change in the skin, such as a growth, an irritation or sore that does not heal, or a change in a wart or mole. Overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays causes most nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
It is important that nonmelanoma skin cancers be found early because treatment is very effective in the early stages. Nonmelanoma skin cancer is treated by removing the cancer with either surgery (excision) or freezing (cryotherapy). It rarely spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body.
Last Revised: October 1, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Randall D. Burr, MD - Dermatology
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.