Welcome to the website of the Skin Cancer Education and Research Foundation (SCERF). This site is specifically designed to help you understand nonmelanoma skin cancer, your diagnosis, and your treatment options so that you get the best care and outcomes possible.
If you are dealing with skin cancer, you are not alone. It is the most common type of cancer. In fact, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the United States than all other cancers combined. As the companion site for the AIM at Melanoma Foundation website (www.aimatmelanoma.org), this site focuses on nonmelanoma skin cancers, such as squamous cell skin cancer and basal cell carcinoma More than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in 2012 (the most recent year for which there are statistics).
Skin cancer is more than skin deep! Although you may have heard about the dangers of melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer can also be serious. While the majority of nonmelanoma skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early, some patients have high-risk skin cancers that can be difficult to treat. In the United States, approximately 7,000 people die every year from squamous cell skin cancer, and others will suffer disfigurement from aggressive forms of this skin cancer. Although basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal, it is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and can also be disfiguring when it takes on an aggressive form.
The Skin Cancer Education & Research Foundation thanks Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Genzyme as well as Genentech, a Member of the Roche Group, for support of this website.
Finally, we thank Laura K. Ferris, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, for her clinical review of these materials.