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What are the different types of skin cancer?

Skin, Hair & Nails Cancer

I am only aware of melanoma. Are there other types of skin cancer?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

Yes apart from the most dangerous melanoma, there are 2 other types of skin cancer.

Skin cancer can be broadly divided into non-melanoma skin cancer or the more dangerous melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancer includes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

BCCs account for vast majority of skin cancers and are most often found on sun exposed areas of people who spend a lot of time outdoors. BCCs are generally not life threatening as they rarely spread to the rest of the body. However, if left untreated, they continue to grow and can destroy surrounding tissues.

This is a particular problem on the face and can require major reconstructive surgery for complete removal. BCCs often appear as a pink pearly spot or lump with obvious blood vessels in Caucasians. However in Asians, they can look very different, appearing as a darkly pigmented lump. They can sometimes have a bloody, crusted surface.

SCC is the second most common skin cancer. SCCs may be related to chronic sun exposure, longstanding sores or wounds, or appear on sites previously exposed to X rays or certain chemicals such as arsenic. Conditions that suppress the immune system over a long period of time can also contribute to the development of SCCs.

Early pre-cancerous skin changes can appear as solar keratosis, often noticed as just a rough patch of skin on the forehead or scalp. Early SCCs may appear as Bowen’s disease, a persistent red scaly patch also usually found on sun exposed areas.

Regardless of appearance, any new skin growth, change in skin growth or non-healing lesion should prompt an early visit to a dermatologist. 

446 views 6 Sep 2018
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