Cochise Oncology

Share This Post

Types of Skin Cancer

Long summer days spent in the sun can leave us with fond memories, but they can also leave our skin damaged and vulnerable. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. Fortunately, it’s also the most treatable. Cochise Oncology is committed not only to treating cancer but also to educating patients on recognizing and preventing it.

What Causes Skin Cancer?

The primary cause of skin cancer is sun damage. For this reason, it most often develops in areas of the body that are frequently exposed, such as the arms, neck, and face. Ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate your skin and damage individual cells. Sometimes, this causes abnormalities in the cells, and instead of dying, they grow and divide.

While sun exposure is the most common cause of skin cancer, other factors can contribute. Risk factors for skin cancer include:

  • Having light skin and hair
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • Spending significant time outdoors without sun protection
  • Having numerous moles
  • Certain medications or conditions that affect your immune system

Types of Skin Cancer

Though skin cancer often has the same root cause, it comes in different forms. There are three primary types of skin cancer.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It starts in the basal cells that line the epidermis, meaning it’s beneath the surface of your skin. As it grows, it may look like a pearl-colored bump or pink patch of skin. Basal cell carcinoma is very treatable if caught early, but it can damage the nerves and bones when left untreated. 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The squamous cells make up the surface of your skin. Squamous cell carcinoma can have many appearances, such as an open sore, a brown spot, a reddish patch of skin, or a wart-like growth.


Melanoma is the least common but also the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It forms in skin cells within your epidermis that produce melanin and often develops within a mole you already have. Melanoma can also appear as a dark spot that develops suddenly. Though it is usually very treatable in the early stages, melanoma can spread quickly.


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.

Treatment Options for Skin Cancer

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent skin cancer, and it’s almost always treatable when caught early on. Skin cancer screenings can catch warning signs, and a biopsy can determine if you have skin cancer by testing a sample of your skin. Your Cochise Oncology provider can then determine the best treatment option. Skin cancer treatment often involves chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Tumors may need to be removed with excisional surgery.


*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

Do you have questions about skin cancer? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. 

More To Explore