Melanoma Is Not the Only Skin Cancer That Can Kill

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When it comes to skin cancer, forms like basal cell and squamous cell may seem less concerning than melanoma, since they rarely spread (or metastasize) to other parts of the body.

A new study, however, has found that nonmelanoma cancers are killing more people than melanoma — even though melanoma is deadlier on an individual basis.

The research, presented October 11 at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress 2023 and yet to be published in a medical journal, points out that more nonmelanoma deaths are occurring because there are far more cases.

“Although those nonmelanoma skin cancers are much less deadly as compared to melanoma, their high number explains a higher mortality,” says the lead study author, Thierry Passeron, MD, PhD, a professor and the chair of the department of dermatology at the Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, France. “Awareness and detection campaigns have mainly focused on melanoma to date.”

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