Skin Cancer

The Different Types Of Skin Cancer?

There are a number of different types of skin cancers depending on the type of skin cell from which they arise. Each kind of skin cancer has its own distinctive appearance. Certain skin cancers also tend to develop in specific areas of the body.

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are called nonmelanoma to set them apart from the more serious melanoma skin cancers.

  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer. More than 90 per cent of all skin cancers in the United States are basal cell carcinomas. Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma also is the least serious kind of skin cancer. That’s because it grows slowly and rarely spreads. It spreads in less than 1 out of every 1,000 patients.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is more serious because it does spread to vital organs inside the body. Spread occurs in a few cases in every 100. It does so slowly. At first cancer cells tend to spread only as far as the nearest lymph nodes structures, which filter out and trap the cancer cells. If spread has occurred, the affected lymph nodes can be removed before cancer spreads to vital organs.
  • Malignant melanoma is the most serious kind of skin cancer because it may spread quickly from the skin through the lymph nodes or blood, to internal organs.

For further information about melanoma, go to Melanoma.

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