3 Skin Cancer Types and Facts

Skin cancer is in three forms, namely basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. This is a type of cancer that is very common in most humans, especially those with white skin. It is usually caused by ultraviolet light, which is from the sun. Let’s talk more about this, including the different skin cancer types from their symptoms to treatment.

Advertisements

The Common Warning Sign

You possibly have a skin cancer if most of your skin starts to change. It can be a sore that seems like does not heal or a new growth that is not easy to explain. If this happens for more than 10 days, you need to consult a doctor and have the proper procedure of diagnosing it. Once proved as a positive skin cancer, you’ll know the right type and then how to deal with it.

Type 1: Basal Cell Carcinoma

Also known as basal cell carcinoma epithelioma, basal cell carcinoma is one of the two most common skin cancer types. It is considered as nonmelanoma skin cancer, which means it does not spread in other areas of the body. The bad news is that it grows and invades the affected area and surrounding tissues. This damage can be permanent.

A. Risk Factors

There are different risk factors associated with basal cell carcinoma. These include light-colored skin (white) or race, over exposure of the sun’s UV, and age. In terms of age, people who are susceptible of this type of cancer are older, beginning around 50.

The areas affected are surprisingly those that are not usually sun exposed. That means the chest, back, upper part of the arms and legs, and scalp can become damaged. Basal cell lesions mostly appear on the face. In most cases, skin cancer happens due to excessive exposure of the ultraviolet light of the sun, as well as UV radiation from tanning beds or booths.

B. Symptoms

Basal cell carcinoma has distinctive symptoms and signs. The lesions, or bumps, are usually pink and waxy. They can also bleed after some minor injury.

C. Treatments

Various methods are conducted to cure basal cell carcinoma. There is the curettage and desiccation, which is a treatment that primarily uses curette, a spoon-like tool, that removes the lesions. Desiccation, on the other hand, is used to kill any cancerous cells left in the skin. No stitching necessary once the tumor or lesion is removed.

Another cure is through surgical excision. This is performed by cutting the tumor out and then skin is stitched up.

Like other cancers, radiation therapy is expected. Doctors will recommend about 25 to 30 sessions.
Other methods to treat basal cell carcinoma are cryosurgery and Mohs micrographic surgery. Cryosurgery is the process of freezing basal cell carcinoma that eventually kills cancerous or abnormal skin cells. Mohs micrographic surgery is done by removing a small piece of the tumor for examination to find out its depth and width, before completely removing the tumor.

Type 2: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Advertisements

This skin cancer type starts particularly in the squamous cells of the skin, which look thin and flat. It is named as squamous, which is derived from the Latin word “squama”, which means “the scale of a fish or a serpent”, since its appearance when seen through the microscope is like fish scales.

Moreover, these squamous cells are usually from tissues that form the skin surface, passages of both the respiratory and digestive tracts, as well as the lining of the hollow body organs.

A. Risk Factors

Risk factors of squamous cell carcinoma are not different than basal cell carcinoma. It simply implies that anyone with light colored skin is susceptible with the cancer, as well as those who are 50 and older in age. Likewise, over exposure of ultraviolet radiation from the sun and man-made equipment like tanning booths can cause a person to have this kind of cancer.

B. Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of squamous cell carcinoma differ depending on its form. The early phase of the cancer is actinic keratosis. This is diagnosed by a doctor if the skin has rough and red bumps that are sore and tender. Affected areas are usually the face, scalp, ears, and the back part of the hands.

C. Treatments

Procedures to treat squamous cell carcinoma are the same as the ones conducted for curing basal cell carcinoma. It includes surgical excision, curettage and desiccation, cryosurgery, radiation therapy and Mohs micrographic surgery, and medical therapy like the application of creams.

Type 3: Melanoma

Melanoma is the worst type of skin cancer. It spreads quickly and affects other areas leaving a bigger problem. The symptoms are the same as the nonmelanoma skin cancers. Also the treatment methods are similar like the other types. Regardless, it is always best to go to a doctor for proper and immediate medical attention.