Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with more than one million new cases each year. Almost half of Americans over age 65 will have skin cancer at least once. It is most common in people with light-colored skin, hair and eyes who spend a lot of time in the sun.

There are three main types of skin cancer:

Basal Cell

  • The most common type of skin cancer
  • Looks like a small, flesh-colored, dome-shaped bump or raw, dry patch
  • Most often found on head, neck and arms

Squamous Cell

  • The second-most common type of skin cancer
  • Looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch or sore that won’t heal
  • Most often found on skin frequently exposed to the sun, like ears, face, neck, arms, chest and back.


  • Least common type, but most deadly
  • Often seen in a mole that changes in color, shape or size

Some types of skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body, so the earlier you can begin treatment for it, the better. You should have a doctor examine any new growth or other skin changes as soon as you notice them, and check your skin regularly for any abnormalities.