18 w Other(1970) | No cancer,

What are the types of skin cancer?
There are 4 main types of skin cancer:

Basal cell carcinoma. Basal cells are the round cells found in the lower epidermis. About 80% of skin cancers develop from this type of cell. These cancers are described as basal cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinoma most often develops on the head and neck, although it can be found anywhere on the skin. It is mainly caused by sun exposure or develops in people who received radiation therapy as children. This type of skin cancer usually grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinoma. Most of the epidermis is made up of flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. Around 20% of skin cancers develop from these cells, and these cancers are called squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinoma is mainly caused by sun exposure, so it may be diagnosed in many regions of the skin. It can also develop on skin that has been burned, damaged by chemicals, or exposed to x-rays. Squamous cell carcinoma is commonly found on the lips; at sites of a long-standing scar; and on the skin outside the mouth, anus, and a woman’s vagina. About 2% to 5% of squamous cell carcinomas spread to other parts of the body, which makes it more likely to spread than basal cell carcinoma.

Merkel cell cancer. Merkel cell cancer is a highly aggressive, or fast-growing, rare cancer. It starts in hormone-producing cells just beneath the skin and in the hair follicles. It is usually found in the head and neck region. Merkel cell cancer may also be called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.

Melanoma. Where the epidermis meets the dermis, there are scattered cells called melanocytes. These cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color. Melanoma starts in melanocytes, and it is the most serious type of skin cancer. For more information about melanoma,

image
18 w Other(1970) | No cancer,

Who is most at risk of getting skin cancer?
Due to their relative lack of skin pigmentation, Caucasian populations generally have a much higher risk of getting non-melanoma or melanoma skin cancers than dark-skinned populations. Naturally brown and black people (skin types V, VI – see table) can usually safely tolerate relatively high levels of sun exposure without getting sunburnt or greatly increasing their skin cancer risk. In contrast, people with pale or freckled skin, fair or red hair, and blue eyes belong to the highest risk group (skin types I, II); people with dark hair and eyes who do not normally get sunburnt are at medium risk of developing skin cancer (skin types III, IV). Nevertheless, excessive exposure to intense sunlight can damage all skin types - the risk of eye damage and heat stroke is the same for everyone!

Some individual risk factors for skin cancer
fair skin
blue, green, or hazel eyes
light-colored hair
tendency to burn rather than suntan
history of severe sunburns
many moles
freckles
a family history of skin cancer

image
18 w Other(1970) | No cancer,

How common is skin cancer?
The incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing over the past decades. Currently, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000, melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. One in every three cancers diagnosed is skin cancer and, according to Skin Cancer Foundation Statistics, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

As ozone levels are depleted, the atmosphere loses more and more of its protective filter function and more solar UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface. It is estimated that a 10 percent decrease in ozone levels will result in an additional 300,000 non-melanoma and 4,500 melanoma skin cancer cases. The global incidence of melanoma continues to increase – however, the main factors that predispose to the development of melanoma seem to be connected with recreational exposure to the sun and a history of sunburn. These factors lie within each individual's own responsibility.

image
19 w Other(1970) | No cancer,

Signs and symptoms of less common skin cancers
Other, less common types of skin cancer include:

Kaposi sarcoma. This rare form of skin cancer develops in the skin's blood vessels and causes red or purple patches on the skin or mucous membranes.

Kaposi sarcoma mainly occurs in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with AIDS, and in people taking medications that suppress their natural immunity, such as people who've undergone organ transplants.

Other people with an increased risk of Kaposi sarcoma include young men living in Africa or older men of Italian or Eastern European Jewish heritage.

Merkel cell carcinoma. Merkel cell carcinoma causes firm, shiny nodules that occur on or just beneath the skin and in hair follicles. Merkel cell carcinoma is most often found on the head, neck, and trunk.
Sebaceous gland carcinoma. This uncommon and aggressive cancer originates in the oil glands in the skin. Sebaceous gland carcinomas — which usually appear as hard, painless nodules — can develop anywhere, but most occur on the eyelid, where they're frequently mistaken for other eyelid problems.

image
19 w Other(1970) | No cancer,

Where skin cancer develops
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinomaOpen pop-up dialog boxSquamous cell carcinoma on the ear and on the lip
Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin open pop-up dialog boxMelanoma
MelanomaOpen pop-up dialog boxPhotograph showing Merkel cell carcinoma
Merkel cell carcinomaOpen pop-up dialog box
Skin cancer develops primarily on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, and hands, and on the legs in women. But it can also form on areas that rarely see the light of day — your palms, beneath your fingernails or toenails, and your genital area.

Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions. When melanoma occurs in people with dark skin tones, it's more likely to occur in areas not normally exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

image
About

The cancer journey is planned better with CANNECT, a community platform dedicated to fighting cancer. Meet inspiring Skin Cancer patients, survivors & caregivers, consult with experts, and plan your treatment better. Learn how to increase chances of cure of Skin Cancer with like-minded people.