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Skin cancers fall into two categories – melanoma or non-melanoma. Melanoma develops in the cells containing the pigment that gives the outer layer of skin its color and is an aggressive form of cancer. It may grow quickly and deeply, appear colorless and spread to other areas of the body. Those who spend a lot of time in the sun or use tanning beds are susceptible. Other factors may include having blond or red hair, fair skin, moles and/or a family history of the disease. Early detection is key to successful outcomes.
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are non-melanoma skin cancers. These cancers develop from different cells than melanoma and are much more slow-growing. They rarely spread to other parts of the body. Sun and tanning bed exposure are also key risk factors, along with hair and skin color and family history.