Common and Rare Skin Cancer TypesDec 17, 2020
Skin cancer can be scary and dangerous. But if it’s caught early, skin cancer is mostly curable and is highly treatable.
Some people may be more at risk for getting skin cancer, but everyone can try their best to decrease their chance of getting skin cancer by reducing their exposure to UV rays, wearing wide-brimmed hats, and using sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and reapplying that sunscreen often.
Skin cancers fall into two major categories: melanoma and non-melanoma. Here are the most common types of skin cancer and some rare types as well.
4 Most Common Types of Skin Cancer
1) Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer.
BCCs often look like a flesh-colored round growth, pearl-like bump, or a pinkish patch of skin. BCCs are very slow-growing and usually develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
BCCs are common on the head, neck, and arms; however, they can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs. Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
Until removed, a basal cell carcinoma will continue to grow and can grow deep, which could cause unintended damage or disfigurement.
2) Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
SCC tends to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back. Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
Until removed, squamous cell carcinoma skin cancers will continue to grow and can grow deep and spread to other areas of the body.
3) Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can develop from a precancerous skin growth called actinic keratoses (AK).
Some people develop dry, scaly patches or spots on their skin called actinic keratoses (AKs). Also caused by too much sun, an AK isn’t skin cancer.
An AK is a precancerous skin growth that can turn into a squamous cell carcinoma. AKs usually form on the skin that gets lots of sun exposure, such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms. Because an AK can turn into skin cancer, early diagnosis and treatment are important.
4) Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer. This is because it has a tendency to spread quickly and can become metastatic.
Melanoma can develop within a mole that you already have on your skin or appear suddenly. Melanoma is typically a dark spot on the skin that looks different from the rest.
In recent years, dermatologists have begun seeing more non-pigmented melanomas too. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for melanoma. Doing your own skin checks is a great place to start.
Become familiar with the ABCDE of moles to educate yourself on what type of spot to look for. See your dermatologist for a thorough skin exam and keep an eye on your own skin for any new spots of concern.
If You’re Concerned That You Might Have Skin Cancer
When in doubt, schedule an appointment with a dermatology clinic. A dermatologist will be able to examine your skin for any irregularities.
If they discover skin cancer, they will develop a treatment plan for skin cancer. Most skin cancer is highly treatable and mostly curable.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) offers many resources on its website, AAD.org. This is a great resource for any skin related questions.
About Center for Dermatology in Lakeville, Minnesota
The dermatology professionals at the Center for Dermatology are pleased to welcome you to our practice. We provide medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology services in Lakeville, MN. We know how hectic life can be and are committed to making our practice convenient and accessible.
We want you to feel confident that when you choose the Center for Dermatology, you’re working with health care professionals who are qualified, experienced and caring. We invite you to schedule an appointment for your next skin checkup. We look forward to meeting you!