Nonmelanoma skin cancer usually appears as a change in the skin,
such as a growth, an irritation or sore that does not heal, or a change in a
mole or a skin growth. Overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays causes most
nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most
common types of nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Basal cell skin cancer accounts for most skin
cancers. It is a slow-growing cancer that seldom spreads to other parts of the
Squamous cell skin cancer is less common. It also rarely
spreads. But it does spread more often than basal cell carcinoma.
These cancers may cause extensive damage, and early therapy is more likely to be effective. Nonmelanoma skin cancer is often treated by removing the cancer with surgery. Other treatments include radiation, medicines that are put on the skin (topical therapies), and photodynamic therapy (PDT).
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.