The most common skin cancer is known as basal cell skin cancer, accounting for an estimated 3.6 million cases in the United States each year. Is skin cancer the most common cancer? Yes, skin cancer affects 1 in 5 Americans by age 70, but it is also highly treatable when caught early. Discover more about the most common type of skin cancer with this overview.
Most Common Skin Cancer: Basal Cell Skin Cancer
Basal cell skin cancer is a non-melanoma skin cancer that is caused by overexposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays. Too much time in the sun triggers skin cells to regenerate at an abnormal rate, resulting in diseased sores and lesions on the skin. Basal cell skin cancer lesions can appear in a variety of ways, including:
- A pearly, skin-colored, or pinkish bump
- A scaly, flat, reddish area
- A waxy, white, scar-like lesion
There are many subtypes of basal cell skin cancer, each with distinct characteristics. Other common forms of skin cancer include:
- Squamous cell skin cancer: the second most common type of skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer occurs less often but still accounts for 1.8 million cases annually.
- Melanoma: the third most common type of skin cancer, melanoma is the most deadly, and accounts for just over 200,000 cases per year.
Is Skin Cancer the Most Common Cancer?
Yes, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with an estimated 5.4 million cases every year. This number far surpasses even the second most common cancer — breast cancer — at 271,270 cases.
Why is skin cancer so common? Your skin is your largest organ and it takes in a lot of sunlight on a daily basis. The sun’s rays are very damaging to skin cells, and without proper protection through clothing or daily use of sunscreen, that damage begins to accumulate.
There’s a Surgery-Free Treatment for the Most Common Type of Skin Cancer
Image-Guided Superficial Radiotherapy, or IG-SRT, is a non-melanoma skin cancer treatment that works for the most common types of skin cancer. This safe, effective technology uses radiation to target the cancer without the need for surgery. Learn how it works and connect with our Skin Cancer Information Specialists at 855-936-4411 to get all your questions answered.