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About Skin Cancer

An estimated 9,500 Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis every day. At Arizona Center for Cancer Care, you can undergo comprehensive skin cancer evaluations and get a customized treatment plan that uses radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery for skin cancer. Call the office in Scottsdale, Sun City West, Avondale, Goodyear, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Tempe, or Surprise, Arizona, to schedule a skin cancer consultation. You can also request an in-person or telemedicine appointment online at any time.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when abnormal skin cells grow and multiply. Cancer most often affects areas of your skin that receive the most sun exposure. However, you can develop cancer anywhere on your skin.

There are three types of skin cancer:

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma develops on the outermost layer of your skin in sun-exposed areas like the face and neck.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas develop in the inner lining of your skin, often due to exposure to the ultraviolet rays (UV) rays of the sun. This type of cancer may affect your face, ears, hands, and neck.


Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer; it develops in the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color. Without treatment, melanoma can become aggressive and lead to potentially life-threatening complications.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

All types of skin cancer can cause changes in your skin. Basal cell carcinomas can appear as a waxy bump or a flesh-colored or brown lesion on the skin that can bleed and scab over.

Squamous cell carcinomas can appear as a firm, red nodule or as a flat lesion with a scaly surface.

Warning signs of melanoma can include:

  • New moles
  • Changes in the size or shape of an existing mole
  • Lesions with an irregular border
  • Itchy or painful lesions

If you have any changes in your skin, you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Arizona Center for Cancer Care. Diagnostic testing services are available to accurately diagnose your cancer type.

The cancer specialists perform comprehensive skin evaluations and may remove a sample of skin tissue (biopsy) for further evaluation under a microscope. 

Based on your testing results, your provider creates a treatment plan to destroy cancer cells and prevent your condition from worsening.

How is skin cancer treated?

The goal of treating skin cancer is to eliminate cancerous cells while protecting the surrounding healthy skin. In the early stages of skin cancer, you might benefit from a procedure to freeze skin tissue to destroy cancer cells. Surgeons can also cut away cancerous tissue to keep cancer from spreading.

Mohs surgery is also available for basal and squamous cell cancers. It involves removing skin growths one layer at a time and examining each layer under a microscope. The process repeats until no cancer cells are present in a skin sample.

Other treatments available to treat skin cancer include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells in your skin.

Arizona Center for Cancer Care also participates in clinical trials to test new cancer medications and other advanced cancer therapies, which may include skin cancer treatments.

After your skin cancer treatment is complete, routine skin checks should be part of your preventive health care plan to identify new skin cancer growths in the earliest stages.

If you have skin cancer, schedule a consultation at the Arizona Center for Cancer Care nearest you or book an appointment online today.