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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancers are a group of cancers that originate from abnormal skin cells. The most common types of skin cancers are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer is caused by damage to the DNA of skin cells, which results from exposure to UV radiation.
Who gets skin cancer?
Anyone can get skin cancer, but the risk increases with age and if you sunbake or use tanning beds.
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
The only way to diagnose cancer is with a tissue biopsy. A pathologist will examine the biopsy under a microscope to see if the cells are cancerous.
How is skin cancer treated?
How skin cancer is treated depends on the type, size and location of the cancer. Commonly, surgery is performed.
Can skin cancer be cured?
Most cases of basal and squamous cell carcinoma can be cured. Melanomas are less predictable, and can recur many years after treatment.
Can skin cancer be prevented?
Cancer cannot be completely prevented, but you can greatly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by not tanning and using appropriate sun protection.
Will skin cancer keep coming back?
Skin cancer can return, but the chances of it returning depend on the type of skin cancer you have.
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 06 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 1010 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Skin cancer