What Are The Different Types Of Skin Cancer
There are several types of cancer that originate in the skin. The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These types are classified as non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is the third type of skin cancer. It is less common than basal cell or squamous cell cancers, but potentially much more serious. Other types of skin cancer are rare.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer . It typically appears as a small raised bump that has a pearly appearance. It is most commonly seen on areas of the skin that have received excessive sun exposure. These cancers may spread to the skin surrounding them, but rarely spread to other parts of the body.
Squamous cell carcinoma is also seen on the areas of the body that have been exposed to excessive sun . Often this cancer appears as a firm red bump or ulceration of the skin that does not heal. Squamous cell carcinomas can spread to lymph nodes in the area.
Melanoma is a skin cancer that arises from the melanocytes in the skin. This makes up five percent of skin cancers. Melanocytes are the cells that give color to our skin. These cancers typically arise as pigmented lesions in the skin with an irregular shape, irregular border, and multiple colors. It is the most harmful of all the skin cancers, because it can spread to lymph nodes or other sites in the body. Fortunately, most melanomas have a very high cure rate when identified and treated early.
What To Know About Nail Melanoma
Melanoma on the extremities nails, hands and feet is the rarest subtype of the skin cancer, accounting for less than 5% of all melanomas, Patel said. But it makes up about a third of all the melanomas that African Americans, Indians, Asians and other people with darker skin develop, which is a ten-fold increase compared to the general population, he noted.
This type of cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma tends to be more aggressive than other melanomas. It killed reggae legend Bob Marley at 36 after it showed up as a dark spot under his toenail.
The main symptom is melanonychia, or a pigmented vertical streak on the nail. Some people have likened it to a line drawn by a Sharpie. That doesnt mean it’s always automatically worrisome because such streaks are much more common in patients with darker skin, Patel noted.
When you have multiple, its reassuring because that may be a signature of your nail beds, he said.
But if a vertical stripe suddenly appears on a nail or its changing, thats something a doctor should check out. Pigment extending from the nail portion onto the cuticle and nearby skin, which is called a Hutchinson’s sign, is also of concern.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider or dermatologist as soon as you notice:
- Any changes to your skin or changes in the size, shape or color of existing moles or other skin lesions.
- The appearance of a new growth on your skin.
- A sore that doesnt heal.
- Spots on your skin that are different from others.
- Any spots that change, itch or bleed.
Your provider will check your skin, take a biopsy , make a diagnosis and discuss treatment. Also, see your dermatologist annually for a full skin review.
Read Also: What Does Cancer Look Like Outside The Body
When To See A Healthcare Provider
The most common growths on the hand and wrist are not tumors. Nodules, rashes, warts, and infections are very common, and they often require medical treatment.
Most hand and wrist tumors are benign, which means that they are not expected to spread to other parts of the body, and they are not damaging to your health. But there are some rare cancers of the hand and wrist, so it is important to discuss any growths with your healthcare provider even if you are not concerned about cosmetic issues or discomfort.
If you have a growth on your hand or wrist, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have similar growths elsewhere on your body. Your healthcare provider will also ask whether you have had any trauma to the area and whether you feel any pain, tingling or difficulty with movement.
Why Is My Nose Painful Inside
Oftentimes, a burning sensation in your nostrils is the result of irritation in your nasal passages. Depending on the time of year, this could be due to dryness in the air or allergic rhinitis. Infections, chemical irritants, and medications like nasal spray can also irritate the sensitive lining of your nose.
Recommended Reading: Chances Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma Spreading
Focus On Eyelid Skin Cancers: Early Detection And Treatment
Your eyes can focus on a tiny splinter in the finger of a squirming child, a stop sign in the distance or stars blinking light-years away. You can roll your eyes, flirt with them, do a double-take and express joy or despair without words. When you think about how amazing your eyes are, wouldnt you do anything to protect them?
Strong bony sockets called orbits encase and safeguard your eyes. The thin tissue surrounding them, however, including your upper and lower eyelids, is extremely vulnerable to damage from the suns ultraviolet rays. Because of that, nonmelanoma skin cancers on and around the eyelids are common.
A big hat and UV-blocking sunglasses can help, and so can sunscreen if you actually use it around your eyes. Many people stop short of the eye area when applying products, mainly because of sensitivity concerns. Even among those who use sunscreen on their faces regularly, the most often-missed spots are around the eyelids, according to a small British study. For advice on what type of sunscreen to use around your eyes, see this Ask the Expert article.
What Are The Signs Of Skin Cancer
The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change on your skin, typically a new growth, or a change in an existing growth or mole. The signs and symptoms of common and less common types of skin cancers are described below.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell cancer is most commonly seen on sun-exposed areas of skin including your hands, face, arms, legs, ears, mouths, and even bald spots on the top of your head. Basal cell cancer is the most common type of skin cancer in the world. In most people, its slow growing, usually doesnt spread to other parts of the body and is not life-threatening.
Signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include:
- A small, smooth, pearly or waxy bump on the face, ears, and neck.
- A flat, pink/red- or brown-colored lesion on the trunk or arms and legs.
- Areas on the skin that look like scars.
- Sores that look crusty, have a depression in the middle or bleed often.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell cancer is most commonly seen on sun-exposed areas of skin including your hands, face, arms, legs, ears, mouths, and even bald spots on the top of your head. This skin cancer can also form in areas such as mucus membranes and genitals.
Signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include:
- A firm pink or red nodule.
- A rough, scaly lesion that might itch, bleed and become crusty.
Signs and symptoms of melanoma include:
- A brown-pigmented patch or bump.
- A mole that changes in color, size or that bleeds.
Don’t Miss: What Is Stage 2 Squamous Cell Carcinoma
What Are Hand Tumors
Any abnormal lump or bump is considered a tumor. A tumor can also be referred to as a mass. The term tumor does not necessarily mean it is malignant or it is a cancer. In fact, the vast majority of hand tumors are benign or non-cancerous. Any lump or bump in your hand is a tumor regardless of what causes it.
Hand tumors can occur on the skin, like a mole or a wart, or can occur underneath the skin in the soft tissue or even the bone. Because there are so many tissue types in the hand there are many types of tumors that can occur. However, only a few of them are seen commonly.
Is Nasal Cancer Dangerous
If the cancer is located only in the nasal cavity or paranasal sinus, the 5-year survival rate is 84%. If the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs and/or regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 51%. If there is distant spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 42%.
Don’t Miss: Stage 5 Cancer Symptoms
Preparing For An Appointment
Make an appointment with your family doctor if you notice any unusual skin changes that worry you. In some cases, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin diseases and conditions .
Because appointments can be brief, and because theres often a lot of ground to cover, its a good idea to be well-prepared. Heres some information to help you get ready, and know what to expect from your doctor.
How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed
You must first ask your doctor to inspect the suspicious skin lesion. Your doctor will then complete a physical examination and ask about your medical history.
A biopsy must be performed to confirm that the lesion is malignant. It can be done either by taking a small part of the big lesion or by excising and removing a small one in its entirety.
Your doctor will most likely examine your lymph nodes also, as they are a common site for metastasis, especially for melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Other evaluations such as sentinel lymph node biopsy, CT scan, and/or PET scan may be necessary to check for metastasis, especially with melanoma.
You May Like: Stage 4 Basal Cell Carcinoma Life Expectancy
What Are Skin Cancers Of The Feet
Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including in the lower extremities. Skin cancers of the feet have several features in common. Most are painless, and often there is a history of recurrent cracking, bleeding, or ulceration. Frequently, individuals discover their skin cancer after unrelated ailments near the affected site.
See A Suspicious Spot See A Dermatologist
If you find a spot on your skin that could be skin cancer, its time to see a dermatologist. Found early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Often a dermatologist can treat an early skin cancer by removing the cancer and a bit of normal-looking skin.
Given time to grow, treatment for skin cancer becomes more difficult.
You May Like: Well Differentiated Carcinoma
Skin Cancer Diagnosis Always Requires A Skin Biopsy
When you see a dermatologist because youve found a spot that might be skin cancer, your dermatologist will examine the spot.
If the spot looks like it could be a skin cancer, your dermatologist will remove it all or part of it. This can easily be done during your appointment. The procedure that your dermatologist uses to remove the spot is called a skin biopsy.
Having a skin biopsy is essential. Its the only way to know whether you have skin cancer. Theres no other way to know for sure.
What your dermatologist removes will be looked at under a microscope. The doctor who examines the removed skin will look for cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, your biopsy report will tell you what type of skin cancer cells were found. When cancer cells arent found, your biopsy report will explain what was seen under the microscope.
Skin Cancer Of The Hand
The skin is the most common part of the body where cancer develops. In the hand, the most common type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma followed by basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Other, more rare forms of skin cancer, such as Kaposis scarcoma, dermatofibrosacroma protuberans, sweat gland tumors, and Merkel cell carcinoma can also affect the hands.
Recommended Reading: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Survival Rate Stage 3
What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer
Most skin cancers can be cured if diagnosed and treated early. Aside from protecting your skin from sun damage, it is important to recognize the early signs of skin cancer.
The ABCDEs of melanoma are a helpful guide: Asymmetry Borders Color Diameter Evolution. The symptoms of melanoma skin cancer include:
Symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer include:
- Itchy patches of skin that may crust over or are very painful
- Bumps or skin spots that bleed easily or crust over frequently
- Nodules that do not go away. These may be clear, a pearl-like color, or even red, pink, or white.
- Skin sores that do not heal
- A scar-like bump that was not caused by injury or trauma
How Your Doctor Decides On Treatment
The treatment you have depends on:
- where in the ear the cancer is
- the type of cancer you have
- the size of the tumour
- whether its spread beyond the area it started in
- your general health
This page is about treatment for cancer that starts in the skin flap of your outer ear. Although the ear canal is part of the outer ear, its treatment is different.
You can read about treatment for cancer that starts in the ear canal on the pages about cancer of the ear canal, middle ear and inner ear.
You May Like: How Does Skin Cancer Develop
Read Also: Stage 3 Melanoma Life Expectancy
More Pictures Of Basal Cell Carcinoma
While the above pictures show you some common ways that BCC can appear on the skin, this skin cancer can show up in other ways, as the following pictures illustrate.
Scaly patch with a spot of normal-looking skin in the center
On the trunk, BCC may look like a scaly patch with a spot of normal-looking skin in the center and a slightly raised border, as shown here.
Basal cell carcinoma can be lighter in some areas and darker in others
While BCC tends to be one color, it can be lighter in some areas and darker in others, as shown here.
Basal cell carcinoma can be brown in color
Most BCCs are red or pink however, this skin cancer can be brown, as shown here.
Basal cell carcinoma can look like a group of shiny bumps
BCC can look like a group of small, shiny bumps that feel smooth to the touch.
Basal cell carcinoma can look like a wart or a sore
The BCC on this patients lower eyelid looks like a wart* in one area and a sore** in another area.
If you see a spot or growth on your skin that looks like any of the above or one that is growing or changing in any way, see a board-certified dermatologist.
Also Check: What Is The Cause Of Malignant Melanoma
What Do Lupus Nose Sores Look Like
A tell-tale sign of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and bridge of the nose. Other common skin problems include sensitivity to the sun with flaky, red spots or a scaly, purple rash on various parts of the body, including the face, neck, and arms. Some people also develop mouth sores.
Read Also: If You Have Skin Cancer How Do You Feel
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About A Skin Cancer Screening
Exposure to the ultraviolet rays that come from the sun plays a major role in causing skin cancer. You are exposed to these rays anytime you are out in the sun, not just when you are at the beach or pool. But you can limit your sun exposure and help reduce your risk of skin cancer if you take a few simple precautions when out in the sun. These include:
- Using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30
- Seeking shade when possible
- Wearing a hat and sunglasses
Sunbathing also increases your risk of skin cancer. You should avoid outdoor sunbathing and never use an indoor tanning salon. There is no safe amount of exposure to artificial tanning beds, sunlamps, or other artificial tanning devices.
If you have questions about reducing your risk of skin cancer, talk to your health care provider.
Treatment For Cancer Of The Middle Ear Inner Ear And Ear Canal
The primary treatments for cancer starting in the inner and middle ear and the ear canal are radiation therapy and surgery. You may also receive chemotherapy depending upon your cancer stage.
The amount and type of surgery that you will receive depends on the location of the cancer and whether it has spread into nearby tissues. The surgeon may remove the following structures as well:
- The ear canal
- The temporal bone
- The inner ear
In rare cases, the surgeon may remove your facial nerve. They may also remove the salivary glands and/or neck lymph nodes on the affected side.
Read Also: Do You Die From Skin Cancer
Also Check: Survival Rates For Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
What Are Some Of The Lesser
Some of the less common skin cancers include the following:
Kaposi sarcoma is a rare cancer most commonly seen in people who have weakened immune systems, those who have human immunodeficiency virus /AIDS and people who are taking immunosuppressant medications who have undergone organ or bone marrow transplant.
Signs and symptoms of Kaposi sarcoma are:
- Blue, black, pink, red or purple flat or bumpy blotches or patches on your arms, legs and face. Lesions might also appear in your mouth, nose and throat.
Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare cancer that begins at the base of the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. This cancer starts in Merkel cells, which share of the features of nerve cells and hormone-making cells and are very close to the nerve ending in your skin. Merkel cell cancer is more likely to spread to other parts of the body than squamous or basal cell skin cancer.
Signs and symptoms of Merkel cell carcinoma are:
- A small reddish or purplish bump or lump on sun-exposed areas of skin.
- Lumps are fast-growing and sometimes open up as ulcers or sores.
Sebaceous gland carcinoma
Sebaceous gland carcinoma is a rare, aggressive cancer that usually appears on your eyelid. This cancer tends to develop around your eyes because theres a large number of sebaceous glands in that area.
Signs and symptoms of sebaceous gland carcinoma are:
- A painless, round, firm, bump or lump on or slightly inside your upper or lower eyelid.