What Types of Skin Cancer Are There?
There are three primary types of skin cancer.
While the least common of the three types of skin cancers, melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Many melanomas will often resemble or develop from moles and are usually black or brown, however they can also be red, purple, pink, blue or white. Mainly caused by intense UV radiation (which frequently leads to sunburn), a majority of melanomas can be attributed to sun exposure. If you’ve had one or more blistering sunburns that can double your chances for melanoma, as well as if you have had more than five sunburns.
If discovered early before it has a chance to spread to other parts of the body, melanoma has a high cure rate which is why regular self skin checks and annual skin cancer exams are so important.
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
The most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) usually develops on skin that gets extensive sun exposure such as the neck, hands, head, face, and nose. However you can get BCC on any part of your body, including areas that do not regularly get exposure to the sun. Contact with arsenic, exposure to radiation, open sores, chronic inflammatory skin conditions and complications of burns, scars, infections, vaccinations, or even tattoos can also be contributing factors. Basal cell carcinoma grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts to the body, however treatment is important because BCC can grow wide and deep destroying bone and skin tissue.
Usually seen in adults, anyone with a history of sun exposure can develop BCC. Those with highest risk have fair skin, blond or red hair and green or gray eyes. Workers and other individuals who spend long hours in the sun are particularly susceptible, and those who use tanning beds have a much higher risk of getting BCC.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
A common skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) usually develops on skin that has received years of sun exposure, especially on exposed areas like lower legs, head, hands and neck. However it is possible to get SCC on any part of the body including the inside of the mouth, lips, genitals, and even inside of the mouth. People who use tanning beds have a much higher risk of getting SCC. They also tend to get SCC earlier in life. SCC can spread to other parts of the body, however with early diagnosis and treatment, SCC is highly curable. If you have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, talk to your dermatology expert about the treatment options that are available.
How is Skin Cancer Treated?
To diagnose skin cancer, your Radiant Complexions dermatology expert, will perform an exam and if necessary take a biopsy of any suspicious moles or cells. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, your dermatology provider will work with you on a plan that may include excision, Mohs surgery, or another course of treatment.
Ask your Radiant Complexions Dermatology expert to perform a skin cancer screening and be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as you notice any differences or changes in your skin’s appearance.
Skin Cancer Foundation