Skin Cancer – 3 Types

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer in fair-skinned people.  It usually shows up on the face, early, scalp, neck or upper body.  Basal Cell Carcinoma may have slightly raised edges with a crusty, indented center.  This type of skin cancer grows very slowly and usually does not spread to other parts of the body.  It is usually treated by removing the tumor (with surgery).

This type of cancer can appear as:
– A red patch
– A pink, red, or white bump that is shiny or pearly
– A crusty, open sore that will not heal
– A scar-like area

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer in fair-skinned people.  It is twice as common in men as in women.  Like other skin cancers, squamous cell carcinoma is caused by too much exposure to UV rays from the sun or indoor tanning booths.  Squamous cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer but it can spread to other partys of the body.  Because this cancer can spread, it is important to treat it as early as possible through surgery and/or radiation therapy.  Lesions may appear as a bump or scaly red patch on the face, neck, arms, scalp, ear, lips, or mouth.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.  It begins in skin cells called melanocytes.  Melanocytes are the cells that make melanin, which gives skin its color.  Melanin also protects the deeper layers of the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  When people spend time in the sunlight, the melanocytes make more melanin and cause the skin to tan.  This also happens when skin is exposed to other forms of ultraviolet light (such as tanning booths).  If the skin receives too much UV light, the melanocytes may begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous.  This condition is called Melanoma.

Back