Skin cancer is basically of two types; one is melanoma and the other is non-melanoma skin cancer. Every year, more than two million people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer (out of which one million people are from US alone) and another one million people are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer.
Different types of skin cancers are caused due to malfunctioning and uncontrolled growth of the cells on the lining of the skin. Different types of skin cancers can lead to changes in your skin color or development of sores on the skin.
Different types of skin cancers
The broad 2 categories stated above – melanoma and non-melanoma cancers – can be further broken into different types. Let’s have a look.
Melanoma skin cancer:
It is the severest type of skin cancer. Usually, this condition starts from the skin cells called melanocytes, which produce melanin. Melanin gives your skin its color and also protects your skin from ultraviolet rays.
Melanoma can be divided into 4 different types of skin cancers. They include:
Superficial Spreading Melanoma (SSM): It is the most common one among melanoma skin cancers. Usually, it takes one or more years to extend to the upper skin. It grows in two phases, in first phase, it spreads horizontally and is less threatening and in second phase, it begins to grow vertically thus making it hard to treat.
Nodular Melanoma (NM): It appears rapidly and is the most dangerous types of melanoma skin cancers. It grows both upward and inward through the skin and also the body making it more severe. Generally it emerges on your arms, legs, neck and head.
Acral Lentigous Melanoma (ALM): Dark skin people are more susceptible to this type of cancer. It is destructive in nature. It starts growing across your skin and penetrates into the skin.
Lentigo Maligna Melanoma (LMM): Individuals above 65 years of age are more susceptible to this cancer. It is the least commonly developed cancer. It is also least aggressive and won’t spread across your body or skin tissues.
Non-melanoma skin cancer:
This can be divided into 5 different types of skin cancers.
Basel cell carcinoma: This cancer starts developing in the basal cell layer, the lowest among skin layers. About 70% skin cancers fall into this type. Exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to this cancer. It is observed at neck, head, back, hands, face, etc. It can be treated before it enters the advanced stage.
Squamous cell carcinoma: This is more dangerous and destructive and is second most regular type of cancers. About 20-25% of people can get this. Body parts which are exposed to UV rays can develop this cancer causing blisters, scars, and ulcers.
Kaposi’s sarcoma: It grows in the dermis and affects people with weak immune system. In this cancer, tumor begins to grow from the connective tissues. Occurrence of this cancer is rare.
Markel Cell Carcinoma: It first affects neuroendocrine cells and then spreads to any of the body parts. It can reoccur after the treatment.
Cutaneous Lymphomas: It starts developing in T and B lymphocytes and spreads entirely inside the skin.