Different Type of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a condition where the skin cells fail to grow and replace damaged cells. Once these cells combine, they form a continuously growing tumor which can either be benign or malignant.
Most skin tumors are benign but though rare, malignant skin tumors are one of deadliest because they quickly spread to the brain. Skin cancer starts in the epidermis or the outermost portion of the skin which is formed by three kinds of cells – the squamous, basal and melanocytes. The type of skin cancer depends on what particular epidermis cell has been infected.
Squamous cells are flat cells composed of keratin and are the outmost layer of the skin. Growth of cancer cells in this area is relatively slow. However, squamous cell carcinoma is a serious type of cancer since it can reach vital organs. This is why it is best for the disease to be treated at its onset. First stages of squamous cell carcinoma only spread up to the lymph nodes which are components of the body that can trap dead cells. The cancer cells can be removed together with the nodes that trapped them. But if the cells successfully destroy the lymph nodes, the spread of the cancer will accelerate. Open wounds that do not heal are signs of squamous cell carcinoma.
The second type of skin cancer is Basal cell carcinoma which is the most common of the three types. About 90% of skin cancer cases start at the basal cells which function as reservoir in case the squamous cells are shed off. Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads with just 0.1% chance of reaching areas outside the basal cells. Basal cell carcimonas are usually found in the hands, neck and facial skin with symptoms of rashes, yellowish scars and bleeding sores.
Squamous and basal cell carcinomas are collectively termed Nonmelanoma cancers to separate them from the last and most fatal type of skin cancer which is Melanoma. Melanoma cancer is already malignant at its onset and it spreads rapidly. 75% of rare skin cancer deaths are due to tumor in the melanocytes. Melanocyte cells are responsible for the color of the skin. About 160,000 worldwide – mostly females – are diagnosed with this cancer and 30% of these cases lead to death. Melanoma can develop on almost all parts of the body but is frequently observed in the arms and legs. The first stages of melanoma are still treatable and are accompanied by noticeable symptoms such as sudden growth of freckles and moles. Old moles tend to grown continuously. In advance stages of melanoma, moles become itchy and may also start to bleed. There will also be alterations in color and can grown to about 6mm.
The best protection against any type of skin cancer is avoiding too much exposure to radiation. UV lights and rays of the sun can already cause skin diseases. A weak immune system can also lead to cancer. Weak bodies tend to attract more parasites which trigger diseases. Frail immune systems can be caused by other sicknesses or allergic reactions to medicine. Exposure to chemicals such as hydrocarbon in tar is also said to cause squamous cell carcinoma.