Skin cancer arises due to the development of abnormal skin cells, which occurs because of mutations in the DNA. It is the most common form of cancer in the United States and is usually caused by exposure of the skin to the sun or other sources of ultraviolet radiation (such as tanning beds).
There are three main varieties of skin cancer: basal-cell cancer, squamous-cell skin cancer, and melanoma. It typically first appears in areas of sun-exposed skin, such as the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck chest and hands, but it may appear anywhere on the body.
Symptoms depend on the form of skin cancer, but common signs of the condition include irregular moles, bumps on the skin with visible blood vessels, scaly skin, and lesions on the skin. Among the factors that may increase the likelihood of skin cancer are a history of sunburns, fair skin, moles, family history of skin cancer, a weakened immune system, exposure to radiation, and exposure to certain toxic chemicals or substances.
Treatment of skin cancer may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and medication. Drug classes commonly used to treat the conditions include pyrimidine analogs, other antimetabolites antineoplastic agents, topical antivirals, other specific antirheumatics, other antineoplastic agents, taxanes, antineoplastic monoclonal antibodies, and other topical antineoplastics.