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What Are The 3 Most Common Types Of Skin Cancer

How Can You Tell If A Spot Is Cancerous

Ask an Expert: How to Spot Skin Cancer

How to Spot Skin Cancer

  • Asymmetry. One part of a mole or birthmark doesnt match the other.
  • Border. The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • Color. The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
  • Diameter.
  • Evolving.
  • What Is A Spot That Never Goes Away

    A symptom of both basal and squamous cell skin cancer is a spot that looks like a pimple and doesnt clear up for at least several weeks. The spot may also look like a pimple that disappears and reappears in the same spot. These bumps arent pus-filled like pimples, but may bleed easily and crust over and itch.

    For More Information About Skin Cancer

    National Cancer Institute, Cancer Information Service Toll-free: 4-CANCER 422-6237TTY : 332-8615

    Skin Cancer Foundation

    Media file 1: Skin cancer. Malignant melanoma.

    Media file 2: Skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma.

    Media file 3: Skin cancer. Superficial spreading melanoma, left breast. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

    Media file 4: Skin cancer. Melanoma on the sole of the foot. Diagnostic punch biopsy site located at the top. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

    Media file 5: Skin cancer. Melanoma, right lower cheek. Photo courtesy of Susan M. Swetter, MD, Director of Pigmented Lesion and Cutaneous Melanoma Clinic, Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.


    Media file 6: Skin cancer. Large sun-induced squamous cell carcinoma on the forehead and temple. Image courtesy of Dr. Glenn Goldman.

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    What Are Basal And Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

    Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the most common types of skin cancer. They start in the top layer of skin , and are often related to sun exposure.

    Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer cells. To learn more about cancer and how it starts and spreads, see What Is Cancer?

    Basal Cell Carcinoma Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Skin And Actinic Keratosis Often Appear As A Change In The Skin

    Top 10 Risk Factors for Skin Cancer  Apex Dermatology ...

    Not all changes in the skin are a sign of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or actinic keratosis. Check with your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin.

    Signs of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin include the following:

    • A sore that does not heal.
    • Areas of the skin that are:
    • Raised, smooth, shiny, and look pearly.
    • Firm and look like a scar, and may be white, yellow, or waxy.
    • Raised and red or reddish-brown.
    • Scaly, bleeding, or crusty.

    Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin occur most often in areas of the skin exposed to the sun, such as the nose, ears, lower lip, or top of the hands.

    Signs of actinic keratosis include the following:

    • A rough, red, pink, or brown, scaly patch on the skin that may be flat or raised.
    • Cracking or peeling of the lower lip that is not helped by lip balm or petroleum jelly.

    Actinic keratosis occurs most commonly on the face or the top of the hands.

    Read Also: What Is Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Basic Information About Skin Cancer

    Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the skin, it is called skin cancer.

    Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Some people are at higher risk of skin cancer than others, but anyone can get it. The most preventable cause of skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds.

    Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet rays. To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.While enjoying the benefits of being outdoors, people can decrease skin cancer risk by using sun protection. Protect yourself by staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying and re-applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher.Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.

    Surgery For Skin Cancer

    Small skin cancer lesions may be removed through a variety of techniques, including simple excision , electrodesiccation and curettage , and cryosurgery .

    Larger tumors, lesions in high-risk locations, recurrent tumors, and lesions in cosmetically sensitive areas are removed by a technique called Mohs micrographic surgery. For this technique, the surgeon carefully removes tissue, layer by layer, until cancer-free tissue is reached.

    Malignant melanoma is treated more aggressively than just surgical removal. To ensure the complete removal of this dangerous malignancy, 1-2 cm of normal-appearing skin surrounding the tumor is also removed. Depending on the thickness of the melanoma, neighboring lymph nodes may also be removed and tested for cancer. The sentinel lymph node biopsy method uses a mildly radioactive substance to identify which lymph nodes are most likely to be affected.


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    Four Main Types Of Skin Melanoma

    There are four main types of skin melanoma.

  • Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type of melanoma. It starts off by growing along the top layer of the skin. Eventually, it can penetrate deeper into the skin. Learn more about superficial spreading melanoma.
  • Nodular melanoma is the second most common type of melanoma. It can be aggressive because it usually grows quickly. Its most common feature is a bump or node that rises above the skins surface and that is firm to the touch. Learn more about nodular melanoma.
  • Lentigo maligna melanoma tends to develop on the face, scalp, or neck. It usually affects older people with very sun-damaged skin. Learn more about lentigo maligna melanoma.
  • Acral lentiginous melanoma is a rare condition that affects people of all races and backgrounds. It is the most common form of melanoma in people of African and Asian descent. It can develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet as well as under the toenails and fingernails. Learn more about acral lentiginous melanoma.
  • Early Detection And Treatment

    Types of Skin Cancer

    While the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer is on the rise, early detection and treatment have caused death rates to drop. When treated early, doctors can cure nonmelanoma skin cancer.

    For malignant melanoma, the outlook largely depends on how deeply the melanoma has grown into the skin, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma on the surface of the skin that is treated properly can be cured. In the United States, the overall five-year survival rate for melanoma that has not spread is about 98%. The survival rate falls to 62% if the disease spreads to lymph nodes, and 15% if the disease spreads to distant organs.

    Also Check: How Do You Treat Melanoma Cancer

    Different Types Of Skin Cancer

    On this page

    The different types of skin cancer are named after the type of skin cell they start from. There are three main types of skin cancer:

    • basal cell carcinoma
    • squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
    • melanoma.

    BCCs and SCCs are different from melanoma. They are called non-melanoma skin cancers.We have separate information about melanoma.

    See also

    The skin does many things. It:

    • protects the body from injury and infection
    • helps to control body temperature
    • helps to control fluid loss
    • gets rid of waste substances through the sweat glands.

    The skin is divided into 2 main layers. The outer layer is the epidermis and the layer underneath is the dermis. Below these is a deeper layer of fatty tissue.

    The epidermis contains several types of cells. Most of the epidermis is filled with cells called keratinocytes, also called squamous cells.

    The lowest layer of the epidermis is called the basal layer. It contains rounder cells called basal cells.

    The basal layer also contains skin cells called melanocytes which produce melanin. Melanin gives skin its natural colour.

    Cancer May Spread From Where It Began To Other Parts Of The Body

    When cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is called metastasis. Cancer cells break away from where they began and travel through the lymph system or blood.

    • Lymph system. The cancer gets into the lymph system, travels through the lymph vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.
    • Blood. The cancer gets into the blood, travels through the blood vessels, and forms a tumor in another part of the body.

    The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if skin cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are actually skin cancer cells. The disease is metastatic skin cancer, not lung cancer.

    Read Also: How Long Can You Live With Malignant Melanoma

    Get To Know Your Skin

    Any changes to your skin, including new growths, sores that wont heal, or changes to existing moles or freckles, should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist.

    Evaluating your skin through regular self-exams will give you a baseline for what your skin is supposed to look like. That way, when any changes occur, youll be able to spot them easily.

    Supporting Medical Frontliners In Three States

    Skin Cancer

    The three most common cancers children can get are ALL, neuroblastoma and brain tumours.

    With September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, it is a good time to learn about three of the most common types of cancers in children: acute lymphocytic leukaemia, neuroblastoma and paediatric brain tumours.

    Acute lymphocytic leukaemia

    ALL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

    Its the most common type of cancer in children, and treatments have a good chance for a cure.

    ALL can also occur in adults, although the chance of a cure is greatly reduced.

    Signs and symptoms can include bleeding from the gums, bone pain, fever, pale skin, shortness of breath, and swollen lymph nodes in and around the neck, armpits, abdomen or groin.

    Treatment includes chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation and bone marrow transplant.

    Theres also a specialised treatment called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

    This treatment takes your bodys germ-fighting T cells, engineers them to fight the cancer, and then infuses them back into your body.


    Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body.

    It most commonly affects children aged five years or younger, although it may rarely occur in older children.

    Signs and symptoms can vary, depending on what part of the body is affected.

    Neuroblastoma in the chest can cause wheezing, chest pain, and changes to the eyes, including drooping eyelids and unequal pupil size.

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    Important Facts On Melanoma

    Where does it grow? The tumor starts in the melanocytes which produce the pigment called melanin. Your skin produces melanin when exposed to the sun. The sun’s radiation is the top culprit.

    However, you may be more susceptible to melanoma without being aware of it. Heredity plays a major role in melanoma. If you have a parent or a sibling who has been diagnosed with melanoma, you are at a higher risk. If it runs in your family, your risk goes up even hgher if you are always under the sun without any protection.

    Melanoma is the most dangerous and the most serious form among the 3 types of skin cancer. It can cause serious illness and even death. Melanoma can advance and spread fast throughout the body. It is harder to treat and is more fatal because of its aggressiveness.

    If you love the outdoors, you need not hide inside your house. Life is short not to enjoy it. Just make sure to wear sun protection clothing against UV radiation.

    What are the signs you should be aware of? Appearance of new moles or unusual changes in moles are warning signs

    Melanoma is the least common. It has fewer diagnosed cases but it causes the most deaths among the 3 different types of skin cancer.

    Detecting Skin Cancer Early

    The best way to prevent developing skin cancer is to familiarize yourself with your skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you perform a self-examination once a month to look for signs of skin cancer.

    Different types of skin cancer look different, so its important to learn what skin cancer can look like. Dr. Mikell and our team specialize in comprehensive skin exams, and were here to help you learn what you should look for in your skin self-exams.

    The ABCDE method can help you recognize potential melanomas:

    • Asymmetry: Is one side different?
    • Border: Is the border irregular?
    • Color: Is it more than one color?
    • Diameter: Is it growing larger?
    • Evolution: Does it look different?

    Along with self-exams, we recommend annual dermatology exams. Dr. Mikell performs head-to-toe checks, monitoring your existing moles and looking for anything new.

    If he identifies an area of concern, he can order additional testing. There are many ways to treat skin cancer, and Dr. Mikell can work with you to choose the best treatment for your needs.

    To have your skin examined and to learn how you can keep your skin healthy, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.

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    Prognosis For Skin Cancer

    It is not possible for a doctor to predict the exact course of a disease. However, your doctor may give you the likely outcome of the disease. If detected early, most skin cancers are successfully treated.

    Most non-melanoma skin cancers do not pose a serious risk to your health but a cancer diagnosis can be a shock. If you want to talk to someone see your doctor. You can also call Cancer Council 13 11 20.

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    Different Types Of Cancer Start In The Skin

    Dr. Aton M. Holzer, MD – 3 Most Common Skin Cancers

    Skin cancer may form in basal cells or squamous cells. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer. They are also called nonmelanoma skin cancer. Actinic keratosis is a skin condition that sometimes becomes squamous cell carcinoma.

    Melanoma is less common than basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.

    This summary is about basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, and actinic keratosis. See the following PDQ summaries for information on melanoma and other kinds of cancer that affect the skin:

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    Basal Cell Carcinoma: The Most Common Skin Cancer

    Basal cell carcinoma, which is also called basal cell skin cancer, is the most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 80 percent of all cases.

    Rates of basal cell carcinoma have been increasing. Experts believe this is due to more sun exposure, longer lives, and better skin cancer detection methods.

    This type of cancer begins in the skins basal cells, which are found in the outermost layer, the epidermis. They usually develop on areas that are exposed to the sun, like the face, head, and neck.

    Basal cell carcinomas may look like:

    • A flesh-colored, round growth
    • A pinkish patch of skin
    • A bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and then comes back

    They typically grow slowly and dont spread to other areas of the body. But, if these cancers arent treated, they can expand deeper and penetrate into nerves and bones.

    Though its rare, basal cell carcinoma can be life-threatening. Experts believe that about 2,000 people in the United States die each year from basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

    Some risk factors that increase your chances of having a basal cell carcinoma include:

    • Being exposed to the sun or indoor tanning
    • Having a history of skin cancer
    • Being over age 50
    • Having chronic infections, skin inflammation, or a weakened immune system
    • Being exposed to industrial compounds, radiation, coal tar, or arsenic
    • Having an inherited disorder, such as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome or xeroderma pigmentosum

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    Luckily Most Of These Ailments Turn Out To Be

    It may grow slowly and it’s typically treatable. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook . You probably know someone who gets a little sniffle or stomach ache, and before they can get to a doctor, they automatically assume the very worst: Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Here are 10 more facts about prostate cancer. It affects people of all races, genders and ages, which is why it’s absolutely critical for americans to learn about. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and billions of dollars each year are spent on researching cures for these deadly groups of diseases. Keeping up to date on the treatment options available to you is key to keeping up the fight against the disease. Although the percentage of cases in men is much lower than in women, male breast cancer accounts for a por. In the united states, it’s estimated that doctors diagnose over 100,000 new skin cancer cases each year. Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early enough stage, it’s treatable. You may even be that person yourself.

    Advancements in treating cancer occur almost every day. Keeping up to date on the treatment options available to you is key to keeping up the fight against the disease. Of course, your specialist is the main person whose advice you should follow but it doesn’t do anyone harm.

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