Types of Skin Cancer

There are three types of skin cancer depending upon origin of the cancer. The skin cancer is the malignant growth of cells in the tissues of the skin cells. The abnormal growth of the cells occurs in the skin cells.

This skin cancer can occur any where in the body but is most common in the areas exposed to the sun like the face, neck, hands and arms. Sometimes the unexposed regions also may get affected by skin cancer.

Major Types of Skin Cancer

There are three major types of skin cancer depending on their origin. They are the basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. All these skin cancers can be very well prevented. As the known cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation avoiding this exposure will certainly help prevent the disease.

The squamous cell carcinomas arise in the top layer of the epidermis which affects the flat squamous cells. The basal cell carcinoma arises in the basal cells which are the cells beneath the squamous cells and the melanomas affect the melanocytes which form the lower part of the epidermis the outer layer of the skin.

Among all the three types of skin cancer the basal and squamous cell carcinomas are slow growing and highly treatable, especially if found early but the melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer.

It spreads rapidly and affects deeper layers of the skin. Actinic keratosis is a skin condition that sometimes develops into squamous cell carcinoma. The former two types of skin cancer are termed collectively as the nonmelanoma skin cancers.

The appearance of these different types of skin cancer is different for example the basal cell carcinoma is appears as either a pearly or waxy bump on the face, ears or neck or a flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion on the chest or back.

The squamous cell carcinoma appears as either a firm, red nodule on your face, lips, ears, neck, hands or arms or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface on your face, ears, neck, hands or arms. The melanoma appears most often on the upper back or face in both men and women.

Melanoma skin cancer, the most dangerous type of skin cancer shows the below mentioned warning signs:

  • Shiny, firm, dome-shaped bumps located anywhere on the body
  • Dark lesions on the palms, soles, fingertips and toes, or on mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, vagina and anus
  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles located anywhere on the body
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and red, white, blue or blue-black spots on the trunk or limbs
  • A simple mole located anywhere on the body that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds

Treatment procedures vary with respect to the different types of skin cancer. For the not so dangerous types of skin cancer like the basal cell carcinoma and the squamous cell carcinoma the common treatment methods are mentioned below.

  • Mohs micrographic surgery.
  • Excisional Surgery.
  • Topical chemotherapy with fluorouracil.
  • A clinical trial of biologic therapy.
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage.
  • Cryosurgery.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Laser surgery.

The other treatment method for basal cell carcinoma types of skin cancer is the photodynamic therapy and for squamous cell carcinoma types of skin cancer is the clinical trial of biologic therapy and retinoids also opted.