The Many Types of Skin Cancer

The Many Types of Skin Cancer

The three basic types of skin cancer include:

-Basal cell carcinoma
-Squamous cell carcinoma
-Malignant melanoma or melanoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma

The most common of all the three types of skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma is often referred to as non-melanoma skin cancer. It is easily detected and it first appears as a small lump on those areas that are exposed to the sun and the air, such as the head, neck and hands. This form of cancer rarely spreads to the other parts of the body and it has a very high cure rate. People with light-colored skin and light eyes are more prone to this form of cancer; basal cell carcinoma is almost never seen in dark-skinned individuals.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Many of the distinguishing characteristics of squamous cell carcinoma are similar to that of basal cell carcinoma; the only difference being in the location of the symptoms. The symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma are typically present on the face and more commonly in the areas near the ears or lips. This form of cancer is also more prevalent in light-skinned individuals the success rate of its treatment is very high. However, squamous cell carcinoma has a higher tendency to spread and in its advanced levels, it is likely to spread to the lymph nodes. It is scaly and reddish in appearance.

Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma, one of the rarer but most treacherous of all kinds of skin cancers is located in the pigment-producing part of the skin. Like all other skin cancers, malignant melanoma is also predominantly found in light-skinned individuals.

This form of cancer spreads rapidly to all other parts of the body via the blood stream and the lymph nodes. Though it is primarily a form of skin cancer, melanoma is sometimes present in the other internal parts of the body too. Melanoma is responsible for about 75% of all deaths resulting from skin cancer.

Early detection of malignant melanoma symptoms is critical in restricting the rampant spread of this disease. People who are more at risk for malignant melanoma include:

-Individuals who have red or blonde hair
-Individuals who have blue eyes
-Individuals who have freckles
-Individuals who do not acquire a tan easily
-Individuals who have a family history of melanoma
-Individuals whose siblings have had melanoma

Prevention is better than cure for this form of cancer and it important to learn to tell the difference between moles that are indicative of melanoma and those that are not.

Skin cancer is most rampant in Australia, followed by South Africa and it is the second most common form of cancer in the United States. If you are a citizen of any of these nations, it is absolutely essential to learn to recognize the different forms of skin cancer. Checking your skin for unusual signs that could indicate skin cancer should part of your daily skin-care regimen as early detection could result in higher success of treatment.

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