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3 Types of Skin Cancers - Characteristics And Treatment

People that have skin that burns easily in the sun should be screened for skin cancer by a professional at least once a year. The screening will identify any abnormal changes in the skin and diagnose any problems. However, even if you are screened once a year you should also monitor the condition and changes in your skin from time to time. You can identify potential problems if you know a bit about the disease. This article will detail the three types of skin cancer including the signs and treatment for each type.

There are three types of skin cancer. The most common forms of the disease are the first two mentioned in the article. They are generally straightforward to treat because they do not spread or are localized to one area of the skin. However, it is still important to identify them early and get treatment of they could lead to more serious problems.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It will normally manifest as a waxy bump on the skin. It may also appear as a flesh or brown colored mark. It is typically found on the face, neck, chest and back but can occur anywhere on the body.

As most cases of basal cell carcinoma are benign and do not spread to other parts of the body treatment is relatively easy and effective. The bump or mark is simply cut out or frozen and removed. This can be done in 30 minutes at a doctor's surgery.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma is similar to basal cell carcinoma and has the same methods for treatment. However it is more liable to spread than the other type and therefore needs to be treated immediately it is diagnosed.

Squamous cell carcinomas are noticeable as a red nodule or bump that can appear on the face, neck, hands or arms. On rare occasions it can appear on the lips or ears. The bump is generally firm to the touch. In more advanced stages it may appear as a scaly, crusty lesion that will appear where the bump used to be. Again, provided it has not spread it can be cut out or frozen.


Melanoma is the least common of the 3 types of skin cancer however it is the most serious of the three, especially if it goes undiagnosed or untreated. Of the three it is most likely to spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes and vital organs of the body. If this occurs (known as metastasizes) then it becomes difficult to treat and may involve chemotherapy and other aggressive treatments. Early detection is crucial for a melanoma but they are often very hard to identify. This is why it is important to get a screen once a year by a professional in the diagnose of skin cancer.

It is important to be aware of the three types of skin cancer as you can be alerted to any potential skin problems with this knowledge. However it is far better to prevent skin cancer from occurring than ever having to go through a procedure to remove skin cancers. Prevention means limiting your exposure to ultraviolet rays either by avoiding them or wearing some form of protection against them.
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