There are three types of skin cancer most frequently found in fair skinned individuals. These include basal cell carcinomas (the most common), squamous cell carcinomas and malignant melanoma (least common).
The sun is the leading cause of these skin cancers. The damage caused by chronic sun exposure and repeat sun burn as a child and adolescent persists long after the burn and tan have faded. Twenty to forty years later, after repeated small doses of sunshine, these cancers may sprout like weeds in a lawn.
Squamous cell carcinoma is fairly common and also arises in areas repeatedly exposed to the sun (ears, face, neck, back of hands). They may arise as tender skin colored bumps or thick crusted areas that will not heal . Some may resemble and be misdiagnosed as dermatitis, eczema or “ring worm”. Squamous cell skin cancer is often curable by destruction or removal however in the latest stages they have the potential of invading the blood stream and metastasizing.