Skin cancer is a common and locally destructive cancerous (malignant) growth of the skin. It originates from the cells that line up along the membrane that separates the superficial layer of skin from the deeper layers. Unlike cutaneous malignant melanoma, the vast majority of these sorts of skin cancers have a limited potential to spread to other parts of the body (metastasize) and become life-threatening. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). You can reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. It's also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early. Researchers have invested more than $4.6 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients' quality of life.