The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, which accounts for 80 percent of all cases of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is the next most frequent form and represents about 16 percent of the total. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the so-called “non-melanoma skin cancers,” are not usually life-threatening and can be cured with early detection and treatment.
Malignant melanoma, also referred to simply as melanoma, is the third most common type of skin cancer, accounting for about 4 percent of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a much more serious type of skin cancer because of its potential aggressive growth and metastasis (spread to other parts of the body).