Skin cancer is a disease in which abnormal skin cells multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. In the United States, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer.
Skin cancers are often classified as either non-melanoma or melanoma. Non-melanoma cancers are more common than melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common nonmelanoma skin cancers, and they usually develop on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms, but they can occur anywhere on the body.
Although melanoma is less common, it is more likely to invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body than non-melanoma cancers. Most skin cancer deaths are caused by melanoma.
Both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers and their treatments can damage surrounding tissue, leading to scars and possible disfigurement. However, when skin cancer is identified and treated early, survival rates are quite high.