Risk of Skin Cancer
If you have a history of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), it may have been a huge relief to hear the diagnosis was not malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma accounts for less than 1% of skin cancer cases, but makes up the majority of skin cancer deaths. As tempting as it is to let your guard down, having a history of BCC and/or SCC does put you at risk for developing further skin cancers.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
The risk of developing a second BCC within 3 years of diagnosis is 44%, which is ten times greater than the incidence of primary BCC in the general population. The risk of developing malignant melanoma with just one BCC is seventeen times higher than the general population.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The risk of developing a second SCC within 3 years of diagnosis is 18%, which is more than ten times greater than the incidence of primary SCC in the general population. The risk of developing malignant melanoma with just one SCC is also seventeen times higher than the general population.
The risk of developing a second melanoma in patients who have had either an invasive or in situ melanoma is about five times greater than the general population.
Total skin evaluations are important in the early diagnosis and increase in survival of patients who are at risk for developing malignant melanoma. Not only do skin cancer screenings detect skin cancers, they also aid in necessary education on preventative measures you can take to help decrease your chances of developing skin cancer.