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What Is The Difference Between Melanoma And Basal Cell Carcinoma

Difference Between Basal Cell Carcinoma And Melanoma

Basal cell carcinoma is present? Watch for other cancers

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Recurrent Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. These cancers develop within the basal cell layer of the skin, in the lowest part of the epidermis.

Patients who have had basal cell carcinoma once have an increased risk of developing a recurrent basal cell cancer. Basal cell cancers may recur in the same location that the original cancer was found or elsewhere in the body. As many as 50 percent of cancer patients are estimated to experience basal cell carcinoma recurrence within five years of the first diagnosis.

Basal cell carcinomas typically grow slowly, and it is rare for them to metastasize or spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body. But early detection and treatment are important.

After completing treatment for basal cell carcinoma, it is important to perform regular self-examinations of the skin to look for new symptoms, such as unusual growths or changes in the size, shape or color of an existing spot. Skin cancers typically develop in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, but they may also develop in areas with no sun exposure. Tell your oncologist or dermatologist about any new symptoms or suspicious changes you may have noticed.

  • Have a history of eczema or dry skin
  • Have been exposed to high doses of UV light
  • Had original carcinomas several layers deep in the skin
  • Had original carcinomas larger than 2 centimeters

Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures

Below are basal cell carcinoma pictures of typical lesions on various sites of the body. These photos and images of basal cell carcinomas are not exhaustive but are examples of common lesions.

Basal Cell Carcinoma on Face:

Basal Cell Carcinoma on Nose:

Basal Cell Carcinoma on Scalp:

Basal Cell Carcinoma on Ear:

Basal Cell Carcinoma on Eyelid:

Basal Cell Carcinoma on Trunk:

Images in this article were sourced from DermNet NZ, Waikato District Health Board, Raimo Suhonen and Dr Richard Ashton.

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Infiltrative Basal Cell Carcinoma

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DermNet NZ

Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma occurs when a tumor makes its way into the dermis via thin strands between collagen fibers. This aggressive type of skin cancer is harder to diagnose and treat because of its location. Typically, infiltrative basal cell carcinoma appears as scar tissue or thickening of the skin and requires a biopsy to properly diagnose.

To remove this type of basal cell carcinoma, a specific form of surgery, called Mohs, is used. During a Mohs surgery, also called Mohs micrographic surgery, thin layers of skin are removed until there is no cancer tissue left.

This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.

DermNet NZ

Superficial basal cell carcinoma, also known as in situ basal-cell carcinoma, tends to occur on the shoulders or the upper part of the torso, but it can also be found on the legs and arms. This type of cancer isnt generally invasive because it has a slow rate of growth and is fairly easy to spot and diagnose. It appears reddish or pinkish in color and may crust over or ooze. Superficial basal cell carcinoma accounts for roughly 15%-26% of all basal cell carcinoma cases.

How Is Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma Of Skin Treated

The Difference Between Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin ...

In general, the treatment of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin depends upon a variety of factors including:

  • The location of the tumor
  • The number of tumors
  • The size of the tumor
  • Any health considerations of the patient

A number of treatment methods may be used to treat Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin. The treatment types may include:

Topical medications can be used to treat Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma. This is because the thinness of the tumor permits permeation of the active ingredient to the full depth of the carcinoma. The two most frequently used active ingredients are imiquimod and 5-Flurouracil.

  • Imiquimod is an immune system signal which calls for the migration of T-cells into the area of the tumor, which actively kill the cancer cells
  • 5-Flurouracil is a metabolic agent which toxically kills the more basal cell carcinoma cells. The surrounding normal skin does not absorb the medication and hence is safe from the toxicity

Both these topical applications take at least a few weeks to treat a typically sized lesion, longer for larger lesions. The actions will lead to redness, irritation, sometimes crusting and possibly secondary infection

One advantage of these creams is that it is sometimes possible to treat the Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma without affecting the underlying skin at all, so after healing, little to no scarring is detectable.

Other techniques to treat this skin cancer may include:

Recommended Reading: Mayo Clinic Skin Cancer

Difference Between Melanoma And Carcinoma

Categorized under Disease,Health | Difference Between Melanoma and Carcinoma

Melanoma Skin Cancer Mole

When it comes to the layer that covers all our bodies, maybe most of us dont pay much attention to it comparing to other body organs, and yes, the whole skin is considered a single organ since it is made of 19 million cells working together to be the first barrier of defense in many ways .

And like any groups of cells it is vulnerable to mutations that cause an abnormal group of cells to form a tumor and if there is a significate mutation it is considered a cancer. Now, we need to separate the concepts of tumor and cancer with the size of it, since we can be in the presence of a big tumor or a small cancer, it all depends in the level of difference we have with the abnormal mutated cell and a normal one.

Now talking about skin cancer there are 2 major groups: melanomas and non-melanomas . Both are malign tumors or cancers, terms that have an ambiguous difference outside the pathology laboratory.

The melanoma is a mutation that starts on the melanocytes, these are the cells that have the pigment that defines the different color tones of our skins, so race war is basically a war against a microscopic pigment.

The first difference would be the type of cell they attack first, in the other hand there are 2 major types of carcinomas, which along with the melanomas makes the 99% of skin cancers :

What Does A Common Mole Look Like

A common mole is usually smaller than about 5 millimeters wide . It is round or oval, has a smooth surface with a distinct edge, and is often dome-shaped. A common mole usually has an even color of pink, tan, or brown. People who have dark skin or hair tend to have darker moles than people with fair skin or blonde hair. Several photos of common moles are shown here, and more photos are available on the What Does a Mole Look Like? page.

Common Mole Photos

This common mole is 1 millimeter in diameter .

This common mole is 2 millimeters in diameter .

This common mole is about 5 millimeters in diameter .

This common mole is about 5 millimeters in diameter .

This common mole is about 5 millimeters in diameter .

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Common Skin Cancer Can Signal Increased Risk Of Other Cancers

Frequent skin cancers due to mutations in genes responsible for repairing DNA are linked to a threefold risk of unrelated cancers, according to a Stanford study. The finding could help identify people for more vigilant screening.

Basal cell carcinomas are common. More than 3 million cases a year are diagnosed nationwide.jax10289/Shutterstock.com

People who develop abnormally frequent cases of a skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma appear to be at significantly increased risk for developing of other cancers, including blood, breast, colon and prostate cancers, according to a preliminary study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The increased susceptibility is likely caused by mutations in a panel of proteins responsible for repairing DNA damage, the researchers found.

We discovered that people who develop six or more basal cell carcinomas during a 10-year period are about three times more likely than the general population to develop other, unrelated cancers, said Kavita Sarin, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology. Were hopeful that this finding could be a way to identify people at an increased risk for a life-threatening malignancy before those cancers develop.

Sarin is the senior author of the study, which was published online Aug. 9 in JCI Insight. Medical student Hyunje Cho is the lead author.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma Of Skin

The Difference Between Excision, Staged Excision & Mohs Surgery for removing skin cancer

The complications of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma of Skin could include:

  • If the tumor becomes big, or ulcerates, it can get secondarily infected with bacteria or fungus
  • If left untreated, Superficial Basal Cell Carcinomas can become invasive
  • Superficial BCC of Skin can cause cosmetic issues
  • Recurrence of the tumor after a period of time recurrences are frequently noted with large tumors
  • Effects of surgical or topical treatments, which involve scarring, redness, or secondary infection

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Protect Yourself From Melanoma

Melanoma.

Reducing your exposure to the suns UV rays is the only action you can take to lower your risk of skin cancer.

If you spend time in the sun, even in the winter, use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher that is labeled broad-spectrum this means that it protects against both UVA and UVB light. Use sunscreen even on cloudy daysabout 80 percent of the suns rays can filter through clouds.

Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Cover any exposed skin, including your ears, lips, back of your neck, and your scalp if your hair is thinning. For added protection, stay out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

SKIN CANCER WARNING SIGN: WHAT YOU CAN DO

Follow the ABCDE rule as a guide when examining moles and other spots on your skin. Look for:

  • Asymmetry, in which one half of the mole is shaped differently than the other half.
  • Borders that are irregular, ragged, or blurred.
  • Color that varies from one area to another, with shades of tan, brown, black, white, pink, red, or blue.
  • Diameter larger than 6 millimeters .
  • Evolving, such as growing larger and/or changing color or shape.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma are all skin cancers caused by exposure to damaging ultraviolet raysfrom natural and artificial sunlight. There’s also a genetic condition called basal cell nevus or Gorlin syndrome, which can cause people to develop hundreds of basal cell skin cancers, but it’s extremely rare, says Dr. Christensen.

People at the highest risk for basal cell carcinoma tend to have fair or light-colored skin, a history of sun exposure and a tendency to sunburn quickly. Fair-skinned people have a 50 percent risk of developing basal skin cancer at some point in their lives, Dr. Christensen says. The cancer is the result of cumulative damage of years spent in the sun, and may take 20 years to manifest.

Although it’s often more common in older people, it can occur in younger adults, too.

Basal cell carcinoma spreads very slowly and very rarely will metastasize, Dr. Christensen says. But if it’s not treated, basal cell carcinoma can continue to grow deeper under the skin and cause significant destruction to surrounding tissues. It can even become fatal. For example, an untreated basal cell carcinoma on the face can grow into the bones and, over time, directly into the brain, Dr. Christensen says.

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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

Taking Care Of Yourself

What is the Difference Between Basal Cell and Squamous ...

After you’ve been treated for basal cell carcinoma, you’ll need to take some steps to lower your chance of getting cancer again.

Check your skin. Keep an eye out for new growths. Some signs of cancer include areas of skin that are growing, changing, or bleeding. Check your skin regularly with a hand-held mirror and a full-length mirror so that you can get a good view of all parts of your body.

Avoid too much sun. Stay out of sunlight between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UVB burning rays are strongest.

Use sunscreen. The suns UVA rays are present all day long — thats why you need daily sunscreen. Make sure you apply sunscreen with at least a 6% zinc oxide and a sun protection factor of 30 to all parts of the skin that aren’t covered up with clothes every day. You also need to reapply it every 60 to 80 minutes when outside.

Dress right. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and cover up as much as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Continued

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What Are The Treatment Options For Melanoma

Surgery performed to remove the melanoma while leaving as much nearby skin intact as possible. The surgeon may also remove one or more nearby lymph nodes to look for signs that the cancer has spread.

Targeted therapy uses drugs directed at specific abnormal proteins in cancer cells. Patients whose melanoma carries a mutation in the BRAF gene may be treated with drugs that target the altered BRAF protein or the associated MEK proteins. Three drug combinations have been FDA-approved for metastatic and high-risk melanoma with a BRAF mutation: dabrafenib and trametinib encorafenib and binimetinib and vemurafenib and cobimetinib

Immunotherapy uses the bodys immune system to fight cancer cells. Dana-Farber scientists have led clinical trials of the drug ipilimumab, one of a class of immunotherapy drugs that are helping some patients with advanced melanoma survive 10 years or longer. In other Dana-Farber-led trials, the immunotherapy agent nivolumab achieved three-year survival rates of more than 40% in patients with metastatic melanoma. Dana-Farber investigators have also found that initially treating advanced melanoma patients a combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab results in a much higher response rate than treatment with ipilimumab alone. A range of other clinical trials testing various immunotherapies is also under way for patients with advanced melanoma.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma In Situ

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DermNet NZ

Squamous cell carcinoma in situ, also known as Bowens disease, is a precancerous condition that appears as a red or brownish patch or plaque on the skin that grows slowly over time. The patches are often found on the legs and lower parts of the body, as well as the head and neck. In rare cases, it has been found on the hands and feet, in the genital area, and in the area around the anus.

Bowens disease is uncommon: only 15 out of every 100,000 people will develop this condition every year. The condition typically affects the Caucasian population, but women are more likely to develop Bowens disease than men. The majority of cases are in adults over 60. As with other skin cancers, Bowens disease can develop after long-term exposure to the sun. It can also develop following radiotherapy treatment. Other causes include immune suppression, skin injury, inflammatory skin conditions, and a human papillomavirus infection.

Bowens disease is generally treatable and doesnt develop into squamous cell carcinoma. Up to 16% of cases develop into cancer.

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Difference Between Skin Cancer And Melanoma

Skin Cancer vs Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of highly invasive skin cancer. It is the most dangerous and most frequently heard of cancer of the skin. However, there are many other types of skin cancers, as well. This article will outline the causes, clinical features, symptoms, investigation and diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of skin cancers, especially of melanoma.

Melanoma

Melanoma is a highly invasive carcinoma. It is an uncontrollable overgrowth of melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for producing skin pigments. Therefore, melanoma can arise from any part of the body where there are melanocytes. In the UK, 3500 new cases are identified per year. 800 people have died only during the last 20 years. Melanoma is commoner among Caucasians. It is commoner in females.

Prevention of exposure to UV light is thought to be preventive of melanoma. As a rule of thumb, avoiding sun exposure between 9 am and 3 pm is a good method. Sun creams and other preparations may help, but there is a risk of allergies and other skin changes with the use of these applications. Less invasive melanomas with lymph node spread have a better prognosis than deep melanomas without lymph node spread. When melanoma is spread to lymph node, the number of involved nodes is related to prognosis. Widely metastatic melanoma is said to be incurable. Patients tend to survive 6 to 12 months after diagnosis.

Skin Cancers

Layers of the skin, Author: Don Bliss, National Cancer Institute

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