Cochise Oncology

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What Causes Skin Cancer?

Your skin is the largest organ of the entire body and serves as a protective barrier against foreign threats. However, high cell turnover rates and other rapid changes can lead to mutations that develop into skin cancer. Unfortunately, over 3.3 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. Staying in control of the situation, with help from Cochise Oncology, should be a priority for all patients in Sierra Vista and the surrounding locations.

Skin Cancer Tuscon

Skin Cancer Overview

Skin cancer is characterized by the development of abnormal and dangerous cells in the epidermis (outer skin layers) that occurs due to DNA damage. In turn, those mutations lead to the growth of malignant tumors. Although the locally destructive don’t spread as quickly as some cancers, they can still be fatal when not treated.

While skin cancer can develop on any body part, it is most commonly found on anatomical locations that are exposed to potential causes and triggers. Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are uncontrolled growths that are found on the face, neck, ears, scalp, shoulders, and back. The other type of skin cancer is squamous skin cancer, also known as Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Cochise Oncology can support patients with either.

Skin Cancer Causes

Skin cancer can affect anybody at any stage of life, including men, women, and children of all ethnicities and backgrounds. The DNA damage and mutations are caused by overexposure to UltraViolet (UV) rays, which may come from the sun or synthetic UV machines, such as tanning machines.

Continued and prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays can affect the DNA by keeping the oncogenes, which are responsible for allowing cells to grow and divide, turned on. Simultaneously, the DNA damage may stop the body’s tumor-suppressing genes from working. This combination subsequently allows the mutations to grow at a rapid rate, leading to malignant skin tumors.


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?

Prevention is the best form of protection against skin cancer, and the Cochise Oncology team on oncologists advises everyone to take proactive steps in the battle against UV exposure while also having a screening if you’re concerned. The most effective ways to do this are;

  • Spend more time in the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Wear sun lotion of SPF30+ when spending time in the sun, or SPF15+ for daily use.
  • Keep your skin covered by clothes and wear a hat when playing in the sun.
  • Get into the habit of putting suncream on 15 minutes before going outside.
  • Use protective moisturizers even in the winter months.
  • Avoid UV tanning beds or (at the very least) limit the time.
  • Treat sunburn with after-sun creams and aloe vera lotions.

How Can I Treat Skin Cancer?

A skin cancer diagnosis is particularly scary, but the good news is that most BCCs and SCCs can be cured when treated early. Therefore, checking your body from top to toe once per month is advised. Meanwhile, you should always note any visible changes to the skin’s appearance, particularly when in relation to bumps, new moles, and unusual markings. Cochise Oncology can take the self-care process to the next level with an annual skin biopsy to check for abnormalities.

An early diagnosis will boost your chance of curing cancer. When skin cancer is a non-melanoma form of skin cancer, surgery is the most likely solution. However, some skin cancers are best treated with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and anti-cancer creams. An experienced oncologist will identify the most suitable course of action and ensure that those steps are taken quickly to ensure the very best chance of beating the illness.


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to learn more about skin cancer? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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