Monday, September 16, 2019

Types of Skin Cancer l Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

What are the major types of skin cancer?
There are three major types of skin cancers:
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC),

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC),

and melanoma.
The Basal cell carcinoma cancer and Squamous cell carcinoma are grouped together as non-melanoma skin cancers. Other unusual types of skin cancers may  include Merkel cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis, and dermatofibrosarcoma protruberans.

(2) What is the most aggressive & deadliest type of skin cancer?
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer as if untreated, it can spread to other organs of the body such as liver, lungs, bone, and brain.


(3) What are the basic types of skin cancer?
There are two basic types of skin cancer:

  • (1) Basal cell and squamous cell cancers which are more common types.
  • (2) Less common but far more serious type called melanoma.


Article Coves: Types of Skin Cancer  ll  Article Reading Time: 4 Minutes

(4) What is the rarest form of melanoma?
Acral lentiginous melanoma is the rarest type. It is more common in people with black or brown skin and It is not thought to be related to sun exposure. Acral lentiginous melanoma is usually found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under fingernails or toenails.

(5) Which is worse type of skin cancer: basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of all cancers which accounts for more than 90 percent of all skin cancers in the United States. Its growth is pretty slow.  Basal cell carcinoma seldom spreads to other parts of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma also rarely spreads, but does so more often than basal cell carcinoma.

Types of skin cancer
Types of skin cancer

(6) What is actinic keratosis?
Actinic keratosis also known as solar keratosis or senile is a common skin lesion caused by sun damage that progresses to squamous cell carcinoma. It is suggested that actinic keratosis is in fact squamous cell carcinoma in situ as it is difficult to differentiate between both actinic keratosis and SCC.

(7) What are skin types?
There are 6 skin types, each with a different reaction to ultraviolet radiations:

Skin Type 1:

Extremely sensitive to sun and burns easily, never tans. You are at greatest risk of developing skin cancer. You must check your skin on regular basis, and be aware of any unusual changes.

Skin Type 2:

This skin type also always burns easily, tans minimally, very sensitive to sunlight. Remember that a tan is not a healthy glow. You are at greatest risk of developing skin cancer so make sure you protect your skin. If you notice anything different on your skin then consult your dermatologist.

Skin Type 3:

This skin type burns sometimes and is minimally sun sensitive. It tans gradually to light brown. Even though your skin tans, this is still a sign of UV damage which can lead to skin cancer. Protect your skin always from the sunlight whenever the UV Index is 3 and above.

Skin Type 4:

This skin type minimally burns, always tans to moderate brown, and is sun-sensitive to a minimal extent. You must do the same as mentioned above in the skin type 3, to protect your skin from skin cancer.

Skin Type 5:

Rarely burns, tans well, skin not sensitive to sun. You must do the same as mentioned above in the skin type 3, to protect your skin from skin cancer.

Skin Type 6:

Such type of skin is deeply pigmented skin and never burns when exposed to sun.  It is insensitive to sunlight. Skin type 6 provides maximum protection against UV radiation than any other skin types. However, your eyes are vulnerable to Ultraviolet rays so you must wear a hat and sunglasses.
(8) How is skin cancer classified? What are the types of skin cancer?
Classification of skin cancer/ Types of skin cancer:
Skin cancer is categorized into three types which are:

  • (1) basal cell skin cancer,
  • (2) squamous skin cancer,
  • (3) malignant skin cancer.


(1) Basal cell skin cancer:

Basal cancer cell is the least aggressive of non-melanoma skin cancer. It is due to sun exposure and occurs in at least 2–3 millions of people per year. It has low mortality rates. Basal cell skin cancer appears like a flesh colored bump or a pinkish patch of skin.

(2) Squamous cell carcinoma:

Squamous cell carcinoma also known as SCC is the second common cancer in the world. Squamous cancer cell (SCC) is the cancer of the outer surface of the skin such as ear, face, neck, chest, and back. It appears like a red firm bumps scaly patches and It is more commonly found in people who have pale light skin.

The death rate of SCC is higher than Basal cell skin cancer but lower than melanoma. SCC can be treated by tropical chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and curettage and electrodessication. 

(3) Malignant melanoma:

Melanoma arises from melanocytes. Melanocytes are pigmented cells found abundantly in basal layer of epidermis. Malignant melanoma is the deadliest type of cancer as 55000 people out of 230,000 had died globally due to this cancer in 2012.

Melanoma is fast-growing cancer but it can be treated if diagnosed early. The malignant melanoma is caused due to UV radiation and has the ability to spread over the surrounding tissue of the body. Melanoma can be treated with chemotherapy, drug therapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy.

(9) What are the types of melanoma skin cancer?
Melanoma skin cancer is also called cutaneous melanoma and malignant melanoma. Melanoma skin cancer can grow rapidly and destroy nearby tissue. It can also metastasize to other parts of the human body. There are 4 main types of melanoma skin cancer.

Types of melanoma skin cancer
Malignant melanoma consist of four major subtypes:

  • Superficial spreading melanoma (70%),
  • Nodular melanoma (15%),
  • Lentigo maligna melanoma (13%),
  • Acral lentiginous melanoma (2–3%)

(1) Superficial spreading melanoma:

Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type of melanoma skin cancer and accounts for 70% of all melanoma skin cancers. Usually superficial spreading melanoma shows radical growth however it can also grow down vertically into the skin.

Superficial spreading melanoma develops on the central part of the body, arms and legs. Mainly, it tends to happen on the back in men and the legs in women. Superficial spreading melanoma varies in color and may have different shades of red, blue, brown, black, grey and white.

(2) Nodular melanoma:

Nodular melanoma is the second most common type of melanoma cancer. Nodular melanoma spreads more quickly than other types of melanoma skin cancer and accounts for about 15% to 20% of all melanoma skin cancers. Its growth may be mushroom like usually with black appearance.

Nodular melanoma usually develops on the face, chest or back and grows down the skin.

(3) Lentigo maligna melanoma:

Lentigo maligna melanoma often develops in older people and accounts for 10% to 15% of all melanoma skin cancer types. Lentigo maligna melanoma develops usuallyon the face, ears and arms.
Lentigo maligna melanoma usually starts from an in situ tumor called lentigo maligna and appears as a large, flat tan or brown patch. With the growth, it becomes darker brown.

(4) Acral lentiginous melanoma:

Acral lentiginous melanoma makes up 5 percent of all melanoma types skin cancers. It appears as a small, flat spot of discolored skin. Acral lentiginous melanoma usually develops on the soles of the feet, on the palms of the hands or under the nails.

Acral lentiginous melanoma is hard to detect as it is tough to see the abnormal areas under the nails or sole of the feet. It is not related to exposure to the sun. Acral lentiginous melanoma is most common in people with dark skin, such as African, Asian and Hispanic.

(10) What are some rare types of melanoma skin cancer?

Rare types of melanoma:

Some rare types of melanoma do not start in the skin. Some rare types of melanoma are described below:

(1) Desmoplastic melanoma:

It develops in the dermis or the layer of connective tissue that surrounds the mucosa. Desmoplastic melanoma appears as a skin colored lump that develops on the neck, head, upper back or areas of the body with a mucosa.

(2) Mucosal lentiginous melanoma:

This type of skin cancer develops in the mouth, throat, nasal passages, rectum, anal canal and vagina. It is diagnosed at late stages.

(3) Intraocular melanoma:

It starts in the eye and is the most common type of eye cancer.

(11) Are all types of skin cancers itchy?
Yes, almost all skin cancer types can be itchy. Melanoma skin cancer can take the form of itchy moles. Basal cell skin cancer can appear as a crusty sore that itches.



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