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Skin cancer fact sheet

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States it occurs when there are mutations in the DNA of the skin cells. This form of cancer begins in your skin's top layer, the epidermis. This is a thin layer that provides a protective cover of skin cells continually shed by your body. The epidermis contains three main types of cells: squamous, basal, and melanocytes.

There are three major types of skin cancer. The two most common are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. The third is melanoma; while it is less common, it is the most dangerous kind.