Types Of Skin Cancer

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Old 10-Oct-2009
Types Of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can be understood as a malignant growth on the skin, which can have many causes. Most skin cancers are detectable in the early stages, as the tumor is visible on the outer layer of the skin. However, a few remain undetected as well. There are three types of skin cancer that can affect a person, namely Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma, and each type has its own distinct appearance on the skin. Over exposure to sun, smoking tobacco, non-healing wounds like burns and genetic factors are some of the causes leading to the development of any of the above mentioned skin cancers. This article dwells at length on the different types of skin cancers. Read on to know how curable they are.

Different Kinds Of Skin Cancer

Basal Cell Carcinoma:
Basal cell cancer is also known as non-melanoma skin cancer. It is characterized by the appearance of small, fleshy bumps or nodules on the head, neck and/ or hands. In occasional cases, the nodules are also to be seen on the trunk of the body. The growth of these bumps/ nodules is flat. This cancer begins to develop from the basal layer or top layer of the skin (epidermis) and grows very slowly. Basal cell cancer is rarely to be seen in dark-skinned people. People with light hair, eyes and complexion and those who do not tan easily are at a greater risk of being affected by this cancer. However, this type of cancer is easy to detect and can be successfully treated, with its cure rate being 95%. In the U.S., 90% of all skin cancers are basal cell cancers.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
Squamous Cell carcinoma may sometimes be called non-melanoma skin carcinoma as well. It is marked by the development of nodules or red, scaly patches on skin. It is a common type of skin cancer, which usually affects fair skinned people. Around 200,000 people are affected by Squamous cell carcinoma every year. When given proper treatment, the cure rate for this type of cancer is 95%, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Squamous cell cancer is mostly found on the rim of the ear, face, lips and mouth and it can gradually spread to other parts of the body as well. It is also more aggressive than Basal cell Carcinoma.

Melanoma cancer cells are found in the melanocytes (cells which produce color or melanin pigment in skin). The most virulent form of skin cancer, melanoma's occurrence is very rare. It usually affects adults, but can also be found in adolescents and children, at times. People with blonde or red hair, fair complexion, and blue eyes are more vulnerable to melanoma. Dark-brown or black skinned people are less likely to be affected by this cancer. However, there is a possibility that they may develop this cancer on their palms, soles of feet, under nails and in the mouth. Melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. In women, melanoma mostly develops on the arms and legs, while in men; it develops between the shoulder and hip area or on the head and neck.

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